The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

300 Years of Quakerism by Ken Carroll
The Dawn of Quakerism
Quakerism made its way into Talbot County within a very few years of its founding in England in 1652. The Society of Friends arose at the end of a century of religious ferment in which there were many attempts to “purify” the Christian Church in England. As Howard Brinton has said, there appeared a “whole spectrum of ‘puritans’ or ‘purifiers’”. On the right, as the most conservative, were the Anglicans who had “purified out” the pope, the mass, and other such elements. Toward the middle were the Presbyterians, who removed bishops and simplified both worship and church organization, and the Congregationalists or Independents, who gave to the local congregation the power claimed by elders or presbyters and also called for separation of church and state. On the left were the Baptists, who did away with infant baptism and some of the more “programmed” aspects of worship. On the far left came the Seekers, who seemed to subtract almost everything except Bible reading and prayer. No organized religion of the seventeenth century satisfied the Seekers, for they desired a New Testament type of church where “all was administered under the anointing of the Spirit, clearly, certainly, infallibly.” Throughout England there was a tremendous longing to find a personally satisfying belief.George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, underwent the type of spiritual search or pilgrimage experienced by many religious people throughout the ages. He found that there were none among the Anglican priests or the “separate” preachers who could speak to his “condition”. At the very moment when all appeared dark—when Fox had lost all hope in priests, preachers, and all mean, and when he felt that he had “nothing outwardly to help him: or “to tell (him) what to do”—there came the spiritual breakthrough that brought the inspiration and insights which made Fox the prophet for whom so many people were waiting. In his Journal, Fox described it thusly: “…when Oh then, I heard a voice which said, ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to they condition,’ and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.”Following this 1647 discover, Fox preached widely in the north of England, influencing many of the separatist groups and drawing a number of people under his leadership. It was not until 1652, however, that he underwent the experience that made him the Apostle of Quakerism. From the top of Pendle Hill in Lancashire he had a vision of a “great people to be gathered.” Upon his descent he found waiting the many groups of Seekers in the neighboring towns and villages. The crowded days following his Pendle Hill vision have been called ‘the creative moment in the history of Quakerism.” The story of Fox’s success and the heroic work of his associated, the “Valiant Sixty” and the “First Publishers of Truth”, has so often been told that it needs no retelling here. It is enough to point out that, as a result of their tremendous efforts, great multitudes were rapidly brought into the Quaker movement, in spite of the intense persecution and suffering (even unto death) experienced both by the leaders and many of the followers. Seekers became “Finders” by the hundreds! We can thus understand why most historians date the rise of the Society of Friends from this time.

George Fox’s message gave hope, direction, and joy to great numbers of those individuals who were longing so fervently for that “personal satisfying belief” already noted. Fox told them that the same Spirit inspires men today as in Bible times, for that Spirit had never ceased to operate in human hearts. He also taught that this Spirit is universal; all men have the capacity to perceive God and to respond to his truth and his will. Those who follow the Spirit of God, which has been in man from the beginning of the human race, belong to the Church. It was this belief in the universality of the Spirit which probably angered many England Protestants more than any other Quaker belief—for it denied Calvin’s doctrine of man’s ”inability” following the Fall and also struck at the religious pride and arrogance of the “Elect”. Fox also proclaimed that the Spirit can overcome and eliminate sin. The same Spirit that was in Christ was also in them. Although Christ had a greater measure of the Spirit than anyone else, it was still the same Spirit (which they, therefore, often called “the Christ Within”). Fox and his followers, unlike the Calvinistic Puritans of their day, did not put the emphasis on “faith”(giving assent to or placing a trust in doctrines and creeds). To the Quaker, salvation came through union with the Spirit so that, as Brinton has pointed out, salvation involved following the Spirit.

Fox and a growing number of his associates, when not in prison for their religious activities, traveled throughout England in 1652,1653, and 1654 proclaiming these beliefs. Often they held public or “threshing” meetings, to separate the “wheat” (those who accepted the Quaker position)from the “chaff”. Those who embraced Quakerism were then directed to the silent meeting for worship which became the most distinctive mark of the new movement. Here people gathered in silent waiting and holy expectancy “to hear first what the Lord speaks to us before we speak to others.”

To thousands of people who had grown dissatisfied with the formal and largely secondhand religion of the age, this firsthand experience of God’s love and power brought a completely new perspective on life. Francis Howgill, one of the most gifted of these early converts, has described the development in this way: “The Kingdom of Heaven did gather us, and catch us all, as in a net, and His heavenly power at one time drew many hundreds to land that we came to know a place to stand in and what to wait in, and the Lord appeared daily to us, to our astonishment, amazement and great admiration, insomuch that we often said one unto another, with great joy of heard, ‘What? Is the Kingdome of God come to be with me?”

The Quaker meeting for worship, to which these converts to “Primitive Christianity Revived” (as many Friends conceived their religious movement to be), attempted to make “form” subordinate to “power”, so that the meeting for worship would be under the leading of the Spirit. Thus, the meeting was without any pre-arranged form. Quakers did not feel that all forms were bad, but they insisted that to be good a form must have power or life. Otherwise, religious forms tended to become ”shadows without substance”. The important thing insofar as worship was concerned was to seek to be obedient to the Spirit and to be in union with it insofar as possible. Out of the quiet waiting there often came some vocal ministry which was meant to help others in their worship or in their daily life and activity.

Small groups gathering together in worship sprang up all across England in the early 1650’s, tied together and nourished by a small “army” of traveling Friends such as Burrough, Camm, Coale, Fox, Howgill, Hubberthorne, Whitehead and Widders. Out of these Quaker groups arose many of those who later came to America, either as “Friends traveling in the ministry” or as immigrants or both—for “convinced” Friends took their religion with them when they moved to a new home. The religion which they carried with them expressed itself in many ways, but it always centered around the four main facets of equality, simplicity, community, and peace. All four of these basic aspects of Quakerism, in one form or another, appear time after time in the story of Third Haven Quakerism.

The tremendous burst of Quaker missionary activity that followed Pendle Hill and Firbank Fell (when so many Seekers became Friends) soon sent “Publishers of Truth” throughout England and on to Ireland, Scotland, and continental Europe. By 1655 they were active in the West Indies. It was only a question of time before the ongoing wave would sweep to the American mainland, carrying the message of Truth to the England colonies in Maryland, Virginia, and New England and to the Dutch colony on the Hudson River. The way was already prepared for the planting of Quakerism in the American colonies by the widespread appearance of Puritan settlements in each of these areas—for Quakerism appears to have sprung from Puritanism and to have had its greatest growth in Puritan areas.

There were large numbers of Puritans in Maryland by the 1650’s, with some of them perhaps coming in on the Ark and the Dove in 1634. Others undoubtedly immigrated individually or in small groups from England in 1650. By the time Quakerism came to Maryland, Puritans were to be found from the Patuxent to the Magothy on the Western Shore and on Kent Island.

Elizabeth Harris, the founder of Maryland Quakerism and perhaps the “mother” of American Quakerism, responded to the same impulse which had already sent great numbers of ministering Friends to the Low Countries, France, Germany, Italy, and the West Indies. Both the date of her arrival in Maryland and the length of her stay are uncertain. It is barely possible that Elizabeth Harris’ work in Maryland may have started in 1655, but it seems more likely that her religious labor here was totally within the year 1656. Harris won a number of converts within the Maryland Puritan community. Among the more outstanding of these was Charles Bayly, later governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He described the new community which she brought into existence: “And then when I had found this beloved life and people, I was like a man overjoyed in my heart; not only because I saw the sudden fruits and effects of it, both in my heart, and in others, insomuch that in a a short time we became all to be as one entire family of love, and were drawn together in His life (which was His Light in us) to wait upon him in stillnesse and quietnesse of God’s Spirit, in which we were often refreshed together, and in one another.”

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism
Although some isolated individuals may have entered the Talbot area fairly early, it was not until the late 1650’s that regular settlement began—with some of the earliest Talbot land grants being in 1658 and 1659. It seems quite likely that some Quakers from Kent Island and the Western Shore were among the earliest settlers. Those who took up land in the Talbot area were soon visited by the great number of ministering Friends who traveled in Maryland (such as Thomas Thurston, Christopher Holder, Robert Hodgson, and William Robinson in 1659, and Josiah Coale, Richard Pinder, and George Rofe in 1660). By 1661, Rofe wrote back to London that “many settled meetings there are in Maryland, Virginia, New England, and the islands thereabouts.” It seems likely that these “many settled meetings” included Herring Creek, South River, Severn, Broad Neck, Clifts, and Patuxent on the Western Shore and the three Eastern Shore meetings at Kent Island, Bayside and “Michael’s River” (later called Betty’s Cove”, on the Miles River). Bayside Meeting served those Friends who settled along the Chesapeake, while those on the Miles River (as Quakers soon abbreviated “Michael’s”) and the Wye found their needs met by the Michael’s River Meeting. Before very long settlers began taking up land along the Choptank, so that another meeting was established there—especially as Quakers in that section of Talbot County were greatly augmented in number by the arrival of Friends escaping persecution in Virginia (including members of the Dickinson, Gorsuch, Powell, and Stephenson families). Probably all three of these meetings were in existence shortly after 1661. As Friends continued to settle farther up the Choptank and along the Tuckahoe, as well as beginning to take up “inland” grants, still another meeting was necessary in the present Talbot area: Tuckahoe Meeting. This meeting, however, probably dates from the 1670’s.

All four of these meetings seem to have started as “house meetings”, gathering in the homes of their members. The one on the Miles River was probably the strongest—for it clearly was the first to built its own meetinghouse. This building, erected sometime in the early or mid-1600’s and called Betty’s Cove Meetinghouse because of its location, was probably the first church or house of worship to be erected in Talbot County. Before long it was found to be too small to serve the needs of the growing Quaker community, and it had already been enlarged sometime before George Fox’s 1672 visit to this building. Betty’s Cove was the only Quaker meetinghouse in Talbot County before the arrival of George Fox. The other three meetings (Bayside, Choptank, and Tuckahoe) remained house meetings for some years before meetinghouses were erected for them. The dates at which these later buildings were erected are unknown, although reference to Tuckahoe Meetinghouse is founds as early as 1679.

In 1681, it was decided to build still another meetinghouse on John Edmondson’s land on Third Haven (or Tred Avon, as the river is now known).

Looking north, this is a model of the original Third Haven Meeting House built in 1684. In 1797 the east and west wings were removed and the west wall of the remaining structure was extended 12 feet along it's entire lingth forming the saltbox shape that you see today. A door was also added to the south wall.

This building was originally intended to serve as a Quarterly and General Meetinghouse, rather than as a place for local worship. It came to host the autumn gathering of Maryland Quakers, while the spring Half-Yearly Meeting was held across the Bay at West River near Annapolis. By 1682, the timber had been provided by William Southeby (later to become the first native-born American to write against slavery), a three-acre plot of land had been obtained, and construction had begun. On the 14th of the 8th Month, 1684, although the work had not been fully completed, the first meeting was held in this building which still stands today. It is generally viewed as the oldest Friends Meetinghouse in the United States and perhaps the oldest church in Maryland still in use. (Although some claim that Old Trinity in Dorchester is older, there is real evidence that there were no brick churches on the Eastern Shore before 1692.) Early in 1693, the congregation at Betty’s Cove Meeting was transferred to the “Great Meetinghouse” at Third Haven, so that the congregation which still meets at Third Haven is actually a quarter of a century older than the building itself. It is, in all probability, the oldest religious congregation still in existence in Talbot County.

Following the close of the 1658-1660 persecution of Maryland Quakers (and a short renewal of suffering in 1661), Friends rapidly met with growing acceptance throughout the colony—so that, starting as early as 1661, a number served as Burgesses and justices. This was true in Talbot County, just as it was in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Kent, and Somerset. In Talbot, Philip Stephenson, Thomas Powell, Richard Gorsuch, and Edward Rowe served on the Court in the 1663-1670 period. During this opening era of their history their neighbors came to see Quakers as “Good Samaritans”, and the provincial Court asked them on several occasions to take under their care indentured servants who were ill and who were being neglected by their masters.

This widespread acceptance of Quakers by their neighbors and by the provincial government, beginning as early as 1661, must be clearly noted. It gives the lie to the old view, expressed by a number of earlier historians, that it took the 1672-1673 visits of Burnyeat During this opening era of their history their neighbors came to see Quakers as “Good Samaritans”, and the provincial Court asked them on several occasions to take under their care indentured servants who were ill and who were being neglected by their masters. William Edmondson, and George Fox to make Quakerism “acceptable” in Maryland. Was not the way for these three “Publishers of Truth’ prepared and made much easier by the great degree of acceptability that Maryland Quakers had already won for their religion? Even though three ‘giants” contributed so much to Maryland Quakerism, honesty demands that there be a genuine acknowledgment of what they had to build upon.

During this formative period of Talbot County Quakerism, between 1660 and 1672, there was a continuing immigration of Quakers into the area. Probably the best known was Wenlock Christison (Christerson), who traveled widely under religious concern throughout the 1660’s and was greatly persecuted in New England, where he was sentenced to death. Only the timely arrival of the “King’s Missive” saved him from the same deadly fate as those four Quaker martyrs hanged on Boston Common. Christison was greatly appreciated by Maryland Friends, both as a person and for his ministry. Peter and Judith Sharpe developed such a “true and brotherly love” for Wenlock that in 1670 they gave him 150 acres on Fausley Creek (now Glebe Creek) on the south side of Miles River. This grant had already received the appropriate name of “The Ending of Controversie”. Here he settled in peace, leaving behind the disputes and strife which had marked his earlier years. He continued to prosper and soon became a man of position and influence both in the larger community and in the Quaker circle, both in Betty’s Cove Meeting and in the work of the monthly and yearly meetings which were set up several years later at the instigation of George Fox.

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

Talbot County Quakerism, 1673-1710
During the period following Fox’s labor in Talbot County the number of converts to Quakerism continued to grow, as did the size of the four meetings at Bayside, Betty’s Cove, Choptank, and Tuckahoe (which may have developed out of the impetus that Fox and his companions gave to the spread of the Quaker movement in the area). Betty’s Cove appears to have been the strongest, with Tuckahoe Meeting continuing to gain strength as the years went by. Many established Friends moved into the Tuckahoe area, including John Pitt, who had originally belonged to Betty’s Cove Meeting and for whom “Pitt’s Bridge” (later known as Talbot County Court House, and then as Easton) was named. Thomas Taylor the well-known Kent Island Quaker, and William Southeby, who had entertained William Edmundson at his home on the Sassafras. The meetings at Choptank and Bayside never appear to have had the strength of the other two. An analysis of the recorded marriages for the monthly meeting between 1679 and 1710 shows more of them taking place at Tuckahoe (in the meetinghouse and in the homes of its members) than in all the other three (including those at Third Haven, which replaced Betty’s Cove in 1693). Betty’s Cove/Third Haven had the next largest number, followed by Choptank and finally Bayside.

The organization of Talbot Quakerism does not appear to have taken place fully until 1676, even though one of Fox’s main purposes was to bring the English system of church organization and government. At least it was at that time that the minutes of the monthly meeting began. Also, the registers for births, marriages, and burials were begun in 1676 (even though they contain some earlier records). From time to time complaints arose that these records were not being kept up to date and that the registers were incomplete. Yet, all in all, they represent one of the best collections of material of this type in the world. A tremendous wealth of historical and genealogical information is to be found within these volumes now on deposit at the Hall of Records in Annapolis.

Friends established burial places at each of their meetinghouses. That at Bayside, near Wittman, can still be identified, although all the stones have disappeared. The stones from Tuckahoe Meeting, near Matthewstown were moved to Third Haven in 1920. The exact sites of Betty’s Cove and Choptank burial grounds are unknown, while that at Third Haven is still in use today and is a thing of real beauty. For the first one hundred years no stones were used. Today, however, Quaker simplicity expresses itself in the slightly irregular rows of small, plain stones which began to be used at the end of the eighteenth century.

From 1672 until the 1770s it was the practice of Maryland Friends to hold their yearly meeting twice a year—in the spring on the Western Shore at West River near Annapolis and in the autumn in Talbot County, first near the Choptank River and then Third Haven after the building of the “Great Meetinghouse”. These semi-annual meetings (sometimes called yearly meetings and sometimes called half-yearly meetings) were not only the highest meeting for business for Maryland Friends, but they were also the chief social gatherings of both Shores. Many of the “world’s people” attended them, either for the spiritual benefits of the public meetings for worship (which accompanied the “select” meetings for discipline) or the fringe benefits of trade and social contacts.

Quakerism continued its steady growth in Maryland through the last quarter of the seventeenth century. Letters to English Friends report “Truth Prospers in this Province” (1683), that the October yearly meeting was large (1685), and that “our Meetings and Numbers doth Increase, and Truth gets Ground and prospers in many hearts” (1700). Thomas Bray, Anglican priest and Commissary General, noted in 1700 this rapid growth of Quakerism, especially on the Eastern Shore where so many new meetings had come into existence in the preceding quarter of a century. He says, “About 4 years ago, before a Clergy were sent over here, a Gentleman assured me that on the Eastern Shore the people were universally disposed to turn Quakers, there being then scarcely any other Religious worship but Popery.”

The Quakers of Talbot, like their brethren in other parts of the colony remained active in the political life of Maryland. Members of the Assembly in the 1670’s included at least three Talbot Quakers: William Berry, Wenlock Christison, and John Edmundson. A number of Maryland Quakers were elected to the 1681 Burgesses, including John Edmondson and Wenlock Christison (who died before he could take office). At least four Eastern Shore Friends were elected to the forty-two member 1692 Assembly, including John Edmundson of Talbot. Being Quakers they refused to take the oath now tendered, desiring the affirmation which they had been allowed to take up to this time. Now that Maryland was a Royal Colony rather than belonging to Lord Baltimore, and now that it was governed by a Royal Governor, this request for affirmation was not allowed, so that the Quakers were dismissed from the House of Burgesses. Once the Assembly had been totally purged of Quakers (who continued to be excluded by the oath demanded of them) the way was cleared for the Anglican governor and his supporters to push through the various bills of “establishment” which appeared from 1692 to 1702. Although the Quakers were successful, through their “London Lobby”, in having one after another of these bills disallowed by the King in Council, one final bill was passed and signed by Queen Anne before the Quaker delegation could appear against it. Maryland Quakers had single-handedly fought the battle for religious liberty for ten years but had finally been outflanked. Thus religious freedom, which had been a part of the Maryland scene since its beginning, disappeared with the establishment of the Anglican Church as the State Church. Once the final law was passed and approved in England, Maryland Quakers were faced with a real problem. Should they set aside their testimony against a “hired ministry” (as well as creeds, a programmed ministry, and outward sacraments) and pay the forty pounds of tobacco per poll? Or should they resist the law by refusing to pay? Obedience to the Light and to Truth demanded the latter of them.

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |



Quaker life in Colonial Talbot County
Quakers were greatly influenced by Jesus’ call not to swear at all but to “let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.” They were, therefore, unable to take oaths. They felt quite strongly about the double standard of truthfulness which taking an oath implies and believed that truth should be spoken at all times. In 1674, Wenlock Christison and William Berry, both of Talbot, and two other Friends, acting for their fellow Maryland Quakers, petitioned the Maryland Assembly seeking relief from the requirement of oaths. This request to be allowed to take the affirmation was approved by the Burgesses but was rejected by the Council. Maryland Quakers suffered heavily in 1677 and 1679 for their refusal to take oaths. In 1679, Eastern Shore Friends chose William Berry and Thomas Taylor to join with Western Shore Quakers to meet with the Assembly members on this subject. In 1681, an act relieving Quakers was viewed favorably by both houses but was disallowed by Lord Baltimore “for reasons of state”. In 1688, however, Lord Baltimore (after repeated visits on this matter by London Friends) by proclamation dispensed with oaths in testamentary cases and thirty prominent Maryland Friends sent him a document thanking him for this favor. Among them were Talbot members William Edmundson, Ralph Fishborn, John Pitt, Howell Powell, and William Berry. In spite of this proclamation by Lord Baltimore individual Friends, such as William Berry in 1691, continued to experience difficulty on this point for some years. Only in the eighteenth century was broader relief provided.

Another problem faced by Talbot Friends stemmed from the peace testimony which the Society of Friends embraced in its earliest day. Fox had called them to a life which takes away all “occasions” for war, so that through the generations Third Haven Monthly Meeting advised its members to “keep to their Antient Testimony and not to Concern [themselves] with fighting nor taking away men’s lives.” Attempts to make Friends join the colonial militia were to be resisted. Those who fell away from the peace testimony were visited by a committee (as Henry Pratt was by William Sockwell, Nathaniel Cleeve, Henry Parrott, and Thomas Taylor) and asked to condemn their failure (as Pratt did). The monthly meeting, made up of the separate meetings for worship, developed the practice of furnishing a certificate to the captain of the militia showing that a person was “in unity with Friends.” Members not only would not train with the militia but were reminded that , being consistent with their peace testimony, they could not lend a servant, send a substitute, or pay taxes specifically designated as “war taxes”. When the Revolutionary War erupted, great suffering came upon Third Haven Quakers – including John Bartlett, Richard Bartlett, Joseph Berry, Solomon Charles, Thomas McKinsey, Solomon Neall, John Register, Henry Sherwood, Thomas Welch, and Thomas Wickersham. William Edmondson, once very affluent, was reduced to poverty by the many fines and levies placed against him, so that he required assistance from the special funds by Irish and English Quakers for relief of their American brethren.

Another problem facing Third Haven Friends throughout the last half of the colonial period stemmed from the establishment of the Anglican Church as the State Church of Maryland. All people were required, no matter what their own religious affiliation or preference might be, to pay forty pounds of tobacco per poll, which were to be used for the building of Anglican churches and the support of their clergy. Quakers, as we have noted, had conscientious scruples against this tax. Although their degree of living up to their testimony varied from period to period, many suffered great hardship on this account until the outbreak of the American Revolution made the application of the law an impossibility. Talbot Friends regularly collected the accounts of their sufferings on this matter, starting in 1699, when Ennion Wiliams was chosen for this task at Bayside, William Dixon at Third Haven, William Stevens at Choptank, and James Ridley at Tuckahoe. Some Friends were “deficient” in living up to the Quaker testimony; yet, throughout the colonial period, there were those Third Haven Monthly Meeting members who suffered by having property seized for this purpose. In 1769, for example, James Edmondson had twenty shillings “executed” from him, while Isaac Dixon lost four cows, Isaac Cox one gun, William Troth one mare, Joseph Berry one pair of “steel yards”, Thomas Cockayne one pair of saddle bags, and William Edmondson eleven shilling and three pence. In 1770 and 1771 Obadiah Atkinson, James Berry, Howell Powell, and William Troth suffered seizure of property for this purpose.

One problem which continued to plague Third Haven Friends throughout the colonial period was the “temptation” offered by the presence of Anglican ministers, especially where the youth were concerned. Form time to time young Quakers would run to the priest to be married, especially those who were too young, those who did not have their parent’s approval, and those who were first cousins and therefore too closely related to receive Quaker permission to wed. James Clayland, the Anglican minister at St.Michaels, and others from time to time, seemed to encourage the children of Quakers to come along for a quick marriage. In 1680, Nathaniel Cleave reported that a “Daughter of his was Lately stolen away from him and conveyed to James Clayland priest who granted them a license and married them all in one day which he Said Seemed contrary to all Just Law and Reason.” This matter was carried to the Proprietary, who spoke to Clayland about preventing such cases in the future.

One of the great concerns of Third Haven Quakers was the family. First of all, marriage itself was seen as very important and not to be entered into lightly. Those who sought to marry were required to seek the permission of the monthly meeting, which appointed committees to meet with both parties – looking into their “clearness” and seeing if their parents approved the match. If all things seemed right, when the committee reported back to the monthly meeting a month or two later, permission to proceed was given and a date set for the marriage (which might be held either in a meetinghouse or a Quaker home). Since Quakers had no “priests”, the ceremony took the form of a Friends’ meeting for worship. Out of the silence the couple stood and exchanged their vows. After they signed the wedding certificate, all those present were asked to sign as witnesses. A copy of the certificate and its signatures was put in the meeting’s register, and the original was given to the couple just married. Many of these early Third Haven marriage certificates still exist as prized possessions of the descendants of these colonial Quakers.

Friends were also concerned with the lasting quality of the marriage. Where difficulties arose and harmony was disrupted to the extent that monthly meeting to look into the matter, to meet with both parties, and to try to work out a reconciliation. Given the strong sense of community, and the feeling of responsibility which the meeting and its members had one for another, this approach was not too surprising. And it was usually successful, so that there were few marriages that did not last a lifetime.

Quakers were expected to raise their children in a religious way, through both bringing them to meeting and family worship or “quiet times” at home. Bible reading. followed by a period of silent waiting, was a custom followed by many Quaker families. Education of children was another important ingredient, so that Third Haven Quakers quite early hired schoolmasters and provided schools for their children. Sometimes Quaker education (usually open to non-Quakers also) was the only schooling available in some sections of the county. The schools tended to deal with the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and emphasized biblical and devotional materials. The degree of literacy among Talbot Quakers was very high, when compared to that of their neighbors, as can be seen through an examination of legal documents requiring signatures (or an X) and Quaker wedding certificates which carried the signatures of those present at the marriage.

Quaker parents had an obligation to prepare their children for earning a living. Often children followed their parents as “planters” or farmers. Sometimes they were apprenticed to learn trades, usually nearby but occasionally in Baltimore or Philadelphia. There were some who went into the professions such as medicine or law. Some became merchants. An examination of Quaker records, especially wills and marriage certificates which tend to list the occupations of people, shows a tremendous range of occupations among Third Haven Quakers in the colonial period.

Quakerism also reminded its members that it was important to draw wills while they were sound in mind and body, so that the family would not suffer heavy court costs or even face the danger of losing an estate when Quaker marriages (done without a priest) were challenged by non-Quaker relatives who hoped to gain from the estate of the deceased. Members were also advised to stay free of debt and to pay their bills on time, so that neither “neighbor” or family might suffer because of poor business practices.

Friends’ emphasis on community made them especially concerned with the sick and the needy among them. The minutes of Third Haven Monthly Meeting are replete with cases of orphans to be educated, apprenticed, or taken into Quaker homes. There was also the widow who needed a new cow, the aged man who required winter clothes, or the family which had lost home and possessions in fire. The love that Third Haven Friends had for God was reflected in the love and care which they possessed for one another. They even reached out to help their needy brethren scattered throughout the world: Quakers held as slaves in Algiers, those who suffered from great fires in Boston and Charleston, and victims of the great earthquake in Jamaica.

Throughout the colonial period Talbot Friends were visited by traveling Quaker “ministers” from England, Ireland, the West Indies, and other American colonies, as well as by some from the Western Shore. These were not men who had studied “Divinity” at Oxford or Cambridge and were then ordained. They were simply those men and women whose gifts in the ministry had been recognized and “recorded” by other local monthly and quarterly meetings. When these individual Friends experienced the call to travel under religious concern it was necessary for them to obtain the approval of their monthly meetings (and, if going into the area belonging to another yearly meeting, the approbation of their quarterly and yearly meetings). Outstanding visitors to Third Haven Monthly Meeting included Thomas Chalkley (1698), Thomas Story (1699), John Fothergill (1722), Samuel Bownas (1728), and John Woolman (1746, 1766). Many of these visitors left Journals in which they recorded their visits to the various meeting belonging to Third Haven Monthly Meeting (both in Talbot County and in the neighboring areas). A number of Third Hacven Friends traveled under religious concern in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These included such Talbot friends as Peter Sharpe, who visited meetings from Virginia to New England (1721-1732); Elizabeth Stevens, who labored in the area from Philadelphia to the Carolinas (1732-1744); and Mary Berry, a particularly gifted minister who traveled widely on the East Coast between 1779 and 1799 and in 1793, at the age of sixty-two, visited most of the meetings in North Carolina and all of those in South Carolina and Georgia.

Third Haven Friends had a strong sense of oneness with their brethren elsewhere. Until the end of the seventeenth century quarterly meetings were held in Talbot County with representatives coming from all the meetings on the Eastern Shore, including those in Virginia. By the start of the eighteenth century only those meetings from Dorchester County northward through Kent County belonged to Third Haven Quarterly Meeting. Eventually the practice of rotating the quarterly meeting developed, so that Third Haven Friends sometimes went to Kent County for these gatherings for business and worship while, at other times, the meetings were held in Talbot. Friendships were formed across monthly meeting lines, and marriages frequently followed the same pattern. The same thing was true on a broader scale with Maryland Yearly Meeting gathering twice a year, at West River in May (with a preponderance of Western Shore Friends in attendance) and at Third Haven in October (with Eastern Shore Quakers in the majority). There was also a strong tie formed with Pennsylvania Friends, several of whom usually attended the yearly meeting at Third Haven or West River. Several extant letters of the 1760s, from members of the Berry family of Tuckahoe Meeting to the Pembertons of Pennsylvania, reflect the strong bond of affection which had grown up between Maryland and Pennsylvania Quakers.

The Pemberton family had once lived in the Tuckahoe area in the 1680s and 1690s (upon their arrival in America) but like so many other Quakers on the Eastern Shore had moved to Pennsylvania after the establishment of that Quaker colony by William Penn in 1682. The promise of new land and freedom from oaths, “priests’rates”, and militia requirements all exerted a strong pull on these Maryland Quakers to move northward and participate in Penn’s “holy Experiment”. Among those Third Haven Friends who rather early removed to Pennsylvania or to Delaware, also belonging to William Penn, were William Southeby, Henry Troth, William Berry, Jr. and John Dickinson.

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

Third Haven Quakers and Slavery
Slavery was introduced into Maryland before the birth of Quakerism, and the institution continued to expand throughout the colony as the decades unfolded. Slaveholders were among those who were converted to Quakerism by the earliest “Publishers of Truth” who labored in Maryland. Burnyeat, Fox, and Edmundson met a number of Quaker slaveowners when they were in Maryland in the 1670s – although many Quakers did not then own slaves and refused to fall into the practice in the years that followed.

George Fox, who first saw slavery when he was in Barbados, spoke against the excesses of it and later published a tract in which he called for the freeing of slaves after certain years of service. Undoubtedly when he came to Maryland directly from the West Indies he made known his thoughts on this subject. William Edmundson, the great Irish Quaker missionary, returned to America in 1675-1676 and spoke out very strongly against slaveholding. One of his two epistles on this topic was written in Maryland early in 1676, perhaps at the time he was staying with William Southeby at Sassafras, before Southeby’s removal to Tuckahoe in Talbot County. A number of Maryland Quakers freed their slaves, either b wills or deeds of manumission, from 1674 onward. Included in this number were some early Third Haven Quakers such as William Berry, William Dixon and John Jadwin. William Southeby , who moved to Delaware in 1684 and then to Pennsylvania in 1685, published attacks on slavery from 1696 until his death in 1722. A convert to Quakerism from Roman Catholicism, he is credited with being the first native-born American to condemn slavery.

This early interest in manumission of slaves by Third Haven Quakers appears to have ended about 1710. Those families which held slaves continued to do so, and those which did not find the practice of slaveholding acceptable rejected the practice. Several Quaker journalists note that members of the Bartlett family, for instance, did not hold slaves. It appears that for Maryland Friends in general and Third Haven Monthly Meeting members in particular at the middle of the eighteenth century it was a case of retaining the status quo insofar as slavery was concerned.

There exists a tradition that an eighteenth century black Quakeress belonging to Third Haven called upon her fellow Quakers to free their slaves but that the slaveholders paid no attention to her message. Sometime later, in the third quarter of that century, something happened to change the attitude of those Third Haven Quakers who owned slaves. They not only began to free their own slaves but also became the leaders in the colony-wide movement to get all Friends to free themselves from the evil practice! Thus, Third Haven Quakers spearheaded the movement to get Maryland Yearly Meeting to follow the direction already being taken by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and other yearly meetings to the north.

Some Third Haven Quakers, as already noted, did not hold slaves. Their silent witness against the evil of slaveholding was strengthened by epistles from London and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings and the visits of Quaker “reformers” who proclaimed both in the written and spoken word that slavery was an unchristian practice. Yet, more than this was needed to get those who did own slaves to break with the system – whether they owned one or two or even forty (as did Daniel Powell when he died in 1758). The famous “foot journey” of John Woolman in 1766, the first of his three walking journeys, appears to have provided the spark needed to awaken the conscience of three of the Berry brothers: Benjamin, James, and Joseph. This family, which mostly belonged to Tuckahoe Meeting and lived near the head of King’s Creek, was a gifted one, and these three brothers were descended from Maryland Quaker families on both sides. Benjamin was very active in the affairs of Tuckahoe Preparative Meeting and Third Haven Monthly Meeting. Joseph in the course of his lifetime occupied most of the offices in Tuckahoe Mjeeting. Third Haven Monthly Meeting, and the Eastern Shore Quarterly Meeting. James Berry served the local., monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings in many capacities – especially as Clerk of the last three. James, after a brief youthful fling, became one of the real strengths of Maryland Quakerism in the 1760s and 1770s.

When John Woolman traveled on foot through the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in the late spring of 1766, he seemed almost an “embodied conscience”. His undyed clothes stemmed from his testimony against the slave labor used on producing dyes, and his journey on foot expressed his intention to put aside comfort and ease (and to have a sense of the “condition” of the Negro slaves working in the fields along the dusty roads – tired, thirsty, hot, and sweating). He traveled from slaveowner to slaveowner in the Quaker community, calling upon Friends to free themselves from the love of comfort, ease, and selfish profit which enabled them to hold their fellow man in bondage. His own abandonment of ease and comfort on this journey, in which he visited the various meetings belonging to Third Haven Monthly Meeting, gave added emphasis to his challenge. In the spring of 1767 and 1768, he made the same type of walking journeys down the Western Shore to attend the West River sessions of Maryland Yearly Meeting, where a number of Third Haven Friends were in attendance.

With Woolman’s visit to Third Haven Friends in the late spring of 1766, the “seed” was sown and needed only a short time to germinate, grow, flower and bear fruit. Early in 1767, Joseph Berry manumitted several slaves and was followed, early in 1768, by James Berry and James’ sister-in-law, Sarah Powell. Other Third Haven Friends freeing their slaves in 1768 included Benjamin Berry, William Troth, Elizabeth Neal, Sarah Register, and William Edmundson. This bold act by a number of influential Third Haven Friends meant that a new day was dawning insofar as the official Quaker position on slavery was concerned. No longer would Maryland Friends be content, as they had before 1768, simply to condemn the buying and selling of slaves. Increasingly there would come the call to reject the practice of slaveholding itself. In the forefront of this crusade would be these Third Haven pioneers in the movement.

Most active in this movement were the Berrys and Benjamin Parvin, who married Sarah Powell, James Berry’s sister-in-law. Parvin, who had traveled with Woolman on his journey to the Indians during the French and Indian War, was a valuable addition to this group after his removal from Pennsylvania to Talbot County. James Berry’s activity on this score was so great that, many years after his death, the slaveholders on the Vestry of St. Peter’s Parish were still condemning him as the instigator of the “evil” movement to free the slaves! They felt that he had inspired Daniel Mifflin, the great Delaware antislavery leader, and, had through Mifflin influenced Brissot de Warville – thus being partially responsible for the French Revolution! The work of Joseph and Benjamin Berry and Benjamin Parvin was apparently less spectacular, so that they were not singled out for condemnation by the slaveowning Episcopalians. Yet, an examination of the manumission records of Talbot County frequently shows their names among the two witnesses required by law. Probably James Berry was more vocal, as well as being more active in accompanying visiting Friends who had a special concern to visit slaveholders.

For some years almost all progress in getting Quaker slaveowners to free their slaves was within the confines of Third Haven Monthly Meeting (at that time containing its four Talbot meetings and Marshy Creek Meeting in Caroline County). Gradually there arose a similar development in Cecil Monthly Meeting in Kent County, but progress among Western Shore Friends was almost non-existent. As Third Haven Friends, supported by a growing number of Kent County Quakers, sought to move the whole of Maryland Yearly Meeting along on this matter they usually met real resistance from Western Shore Friends (especially the wealthy planters, merchants, and shipbuilders of West River and Gunpowder communities) from 1768 onward, but it was not until 1776-1777 that Western Shore Friends began to free themselves and the Society of Friends from slaveholding. The movement was really speeded up by the visit of Isaac Jackson (of New Garden Monthly Meeting in Pennsylvania) to the Quaker slaveowners of the Western Shore. He was accompanied in this labor by Third Haven Friends Benjamin Parvin and Joseph Berry, both of whom had manumitted slaves, had persuaded other Eastern Shore Quakers to liberate theirs, and were able to testify to the sweet sense of liberation which they had experienced in following the voice of “the one true shepherd” and freeing themselves from the “inquisitous” practice of holding their fellow man in bondage. Jackson, Berry, and Parvin visited all the Quaker slaveowners, asking them to free their slaves. Where there was favorable response they quickly produced deeds of manumission (which they had already prepared in advance) and served as witnesses. Jackson later made a return visit to the area, producing further manumissions. Before long the whole yearly meeting was able to rule that slaveholding was a disownable offence – so that slaveowners would no longer be considered members and money from them could not be accepted for Quaker work. Thus the pioneering work of the Berrys produced solid results in a dozen years – first at home in Third Haven Monthly Meeting and then throughout the whole yearly meeting, which James Berry came to serve as Clerk for a number of years.

Third Haven Quakers had a special sense of obligation to and responsibility for those they once held in slavery. Some felt the necessity of recompensing the slave for past services. William Dixon, for instance, gave the two slaves he freed fifty acres of land, a house, and the beginnings of a flock, and Benjamin Berry not only provided some recompense at the time of manumission but left additional money in his will some years later. Also there was the problem of the ex-slave’s ongoing life. How was he or she to earn a living? Many friends hired those that they had earlier freed, paying them the prevailing wages. A number of them had been taught trades or crafts, and jobs were now obtained for them.

Third Haven Friends had an ongoing concern for the welfare of the freed slave. When threats to their freedom arose, Quaker committees went to the legislature or to the local authorities to safeguard their liberty. There were real efforts directed toward providing education for those who had been manumitted, as well as special gatherings for the religious instruction and welfare of those freed. Toward the end of the eighteenth century some Third Haven Friends were active in the Choptank Abolition Society, which was dedicated to securing the rights of those who might have been freed by non-Quakers. A number of Third Haven Quakers participated in the Philanthropic Society, organized in Easton in 1804, with much the same purpose as the earlier Choptank Abolition Society It was this ongoing concern for the rights of the Blacks that led Rebecca Morgan Tylor of Tuckahoe Neck Meeting near Denton (then a part of Third Haven Monthly Meeting) to conduct a school for black children in her home outside Denton in 1858 and to “face down” the town constable, John McCooms, who threatened to stop the school “if not by fair means, foul would be brought to bear”. This same concern inspired Emma B. Satterthwaite, also of Tuckahoe Neck, to teach in the Freedman’s Bureau School in Caroline County after the Civil War, and it was also responsible, along with a sense of justice, in causing Robert B. Dixon, Senator from Talbot County, to vote against the Railroad Segregation Act of 1904.

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

Third Haven Quakerism-1710-1800
Third Haven Monthly Meeting entered the eighteenth century as a strong and growing movement especially in that area above the Choptank. Its two meetings in Dorchester, while never as large and strong as those in Talbot, were still in existence in 1710, but would both disappear before the middle of the century. One was Little Choptank, held at the Kennerly home on Fishing Creek, and the other was Transquaking. Four marriages took place in Transquaking Meetinghouse in 1711-1712, apparently a banner time for Dorchester Quaker weddings. After that only one or two more are recorded at these two meetings with the last one at the Kennerly home in 1723. When Samuel Bownas visited Dorchester in 1728, he found a small meeting at Kennerly's home and a larger one at Transquaking. The meeting at Little Choptank began about 1685 and probably ceased to exist as a regular meeting in the 1730's even though individual Friends, such as Sarah Stevens Kennerly, continued to live in the area until the 1770s, when there were none present who wanted to keep it up, for many of the old standbys had died, other Friends had moved northward, and some of the offspring still in the area had joined the established church.

As these two meetings in Dorchester were fading, another meeting arose in that part of Dorchester which eventually became a part of Caroline when that county was created in 1773. This was Marshy Creek Meeting near Preston, which came into existence as early as 1727 and remained a part of Third Haven Monthly Meeting until 1800, when it was transferred to the newly organized Northwest Fork Monthly Meeting. A few years later, about 1733, still another meeting, Queen Anne's, arose and soon became a part of Third Haven Monthly Meeting. Later it moved to Greensboro on the Choptank River. Both Marshy Creek and Queen Anne's/Greensboro were small meetings, requiring a great deal of assistance from the monthly meeting especially visitation and help in building meetinghouses.

The great bulk of the Third Haven membership throughout the eighteenth century was to be found in Talbot County in the four meetings at Bayside, Choptank, Third Haven, and Tuckahoe. For a brief period there may also have been a small 'indulged' meeting at Wye, although there is a real question about the actual existence of such a meeting. All four of the regular preparative meetings had meetinghouses of their own throughout the eighteenth century, often requiring repairs and on occasion even replacement (as in the case of Tuckahoe Meetinghouse in the late 1760s).

Throughout the eighteenth century Bayside Meeting was the smallest of the four. Both the minutes of the monthly meeting and the journals of traveling Friends note the weakness of that congregation so that, throughout the last half of the century, Friends such as Richard Bartlett, James Berry, Isaac Dixon, Tristram Needles, and John Regester were appointed to visit Bayside Meeting from time to time to encourage the few thereÓ. Although Bayside's membership was small, there were three marriages (all daughters of Benjamin Kemp) at the meetinghouse between 1789 and 1796. At this period the dwindling meeting appears to have been largely composed of the Kemp and Fairbanks families.

Choptank Meeting, not far from Trappe, had a somewhat larger membership. In the 1710-1799 period there were about fifteen marriages in this meetinghouse, involving various members of the Birkhead, Bowers, Buckbee, Cox Dickinson, Harrison, Jankinson, Leeds, Parrott, Parsons, Parvin, Powell, and Sharpe families. Thus, the Choptank Quaker circle contained a larger number of families than did Bayside. A real weakness came upon Choptank just after the middle of the eighteenth century; but gradually, with the encouragement of the monthly meeting, things improved so that meetings were regularly held and, for a time, even increased in size. At the end of the century, however, Choptank could only be classified as a 'weak' meeting. 

Tuckahoe Meeting, at the very beginning of the eighteenth century, appears to have been the strongest of the four congregations, with members of the following families active in it: Arey, Barnwell, Berry, Bowes, Clark, Cox, Durden, Harwood, Jadwin, Kemp, Lewis, Neall, Needles, Nicks, Parratt, Pitt, Regester, Skillington, Taylor, Webb, Williams, and Wilson. Tuckahoe Meeting, However, seems to have fallen rather steadily behind Third Haven in size, so that in this 1710-1799 period only about half as many marriages took place at Tuckahoe as at Third Haven. Yet, Tuckahoe remained a strong meeting throughout the rest of the eighteenth century.

The Third Haven congregation (a continuation of that which had once been at Betty's Cove) continued to grow throughout the whole of the eighteenth century. Approximately seventy marriages are listed as being at Third Haven in the 1710-1799 period, with additional Third Haven members marrying members of other meeting in other meetinghouses. Over the course of the century this congregation drew members from the following families: Atkinson, Bartlett, Berry, Cockayne, Dickinson, Dixon, Edmundson, Eubanks, Harwood, Hopkins, Jenkinson, Jones, Neal, Powell, Ratcliff, Richardson, Sherwood, Skillington,Troth, Warner, Webb, and Wilson. Third Haven (and Tuckahoe also) gained members by convincement throughout this period, even during the time of the American Revolution when suffering once more became the lot of most Quakers.

The various Quaker meetinghouses belonging to Third Haven Monthly Meeting were built for utility rather than for show or comfort. Each of them was of frame construction, with Third Haven being the largest. There was a certain Quaker simplicity to each of the buildings that produced its own type of beauty (which may be more evident to the beholder of Third Haven today than to the viewer of several centuries ago). This same spirit of simplicity expressed itself in the lack of any heating system, other than the natural heat thrown off by the bodies of those present, until 1779 when James Berry was requested to obtain a stove for Third Haven. One of the Parvins, probably Benjamin, was so offended by the surrendered to 'worldliness' and 'ease' that he developed the practice of hiding this 'abomination' by covering it with his coat. One cold First Day morning some Friends who arrived early lit a fire in the stove before Parvin tried to cover it without Parvin noting that a five had been started. The building was endangered by a fire which, fortunately, was soon extinguished.

Most of the Third Have Monthly Meeting meetinghouses were built on creeks and rivers, where boats could bring worshippers to a landing and a short walk then led them to meeting. Later, as roads were constructed, and more Friends traveled by horseback or carriage, it was sometimes necessary to obtain new access to the property. This was especially true of Third Haven in 1791, after the reorganization of Maryland Quakerism had led first to the dropping of yearly meeting sessions twice a year and then the later transferring of the Eastern Shore meetings to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting had brought an end to Western Shore Friends coming by boat to Third Haven. Soon it was felt necessary to gain a permanent outlet to the meeting property. Denny Hopkins, a member of the meeting who owned the surrounding property, exchanged some land with the meeting thus providing the long lane leading out to Washington Street. Today this leafy approach, bordered by the hedges and arched over by pine trees, helps call the visitor to a worshipful attitude as he or she enters the park-like grounds of the meetinghouse itself. For some years before 1790, Third Haven Friends had wrestled with the question of whether or not they should seek new affiliationsÑthis time with Delaware and Philadelphia Friends. As roads were built throughout the Delmarva Peninsula and travel by land became easier, there had developed a growing contact with Delaware Quakers who belonged to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Many Third Haven Monthly Meeting members had relatives among the Delaware Quakers. Also, the geographical center of Maryland Yearly Meeting had gradually shifted over the decades to the north and the west as the southern meetings on both the Eastern and Western Shores passed out of existence. Realignment and reorganization were only sensible, for conditions had changed radically in the nearly century-and-a-quarter since Fox and Burnyeat had provided Maryland Quakers with the impetus needed to organize. The new arrangement, coming in 1790, now joined Third Haven and Cecil Monthly Meetings (with a total of ten preparative meetings under their care) with Duck Creek and Motherkill Monthly Meetings in Delaware to form Southern Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. From this time forward Third Haven's look was toward Philadelphia rather than Baltimore, which had now become the center of the realigned (and renamed) Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

Nearly half way through the third quarter of the eighteenth century a new religious movement appeared along the Maryland-Delaware border, producing a new sect that rejected slavery, war, oaths and a 'hireling' ministry, emphasized simplicity (almost to the point of austerity) and community, and developed a meeting for worship and a business meeting very similar to those of the Quakers. These were the Nicholites, who took their name from their founder, Joseph Nichols of Kent County, Delaware. Their main center extended from Kent and Susssex Counties in Delaware westward through Caroline and upper Dorchester in Maryland into the eastern sections of Talbot County. Their three meetinghouses were all in Caroline County: Centre (near Concord), Northwest Fork (near Federalsburg), and Tuckahoe Neck (west of Denton). Eventually the movement spread much farther, with some of the Nicholites migrating to North and South Carolina about the time of the American Revolution (and even into Tennessee at the turn of the century). From the very time of their founding there was an ongoing relationship between the Nicholites (sometimes called New Quakers) and Friends. Some of their neighbors called them 'White Quakers' because of their wearing undyed clothes, as a protest against luxury and slavery. Nicholites often attended Quaker meetings, especially when traveling ÒFriends in the ministry such as John Woolman were present, and sometimes provided hospitality for visiting Quakers. Thus, there was ample opportunity for an exchange of ideas between the two societies.

On a number of occasions Third Haven Friends visited the Nicholites, including John Regester, Tristsram Needles, and John Boon in 1783 and Mary Berry, Rebecca Bartlett, John Dickinson, and Solomon Charles in 1790. A small number of individual Nicholites joined Third Haven Monthly Meeting in the 1780s and early-17970s. After a long time of wrestling over the matter, several hundred Nicholites applied for membership in Third Haven Meeting in 1797 and 1798, and after being visited in families and as individuals more were soon accepted.

In order to meet the needs of the Nicholite converts to Quakerism, Third Haven Monthly Meeting established meetings for worship and preparative meetings for business at Northwest Fork and Centre late in 1798. One month earlier a group of Friends (probably including a number of ex-Nicholites) asked the monthly meeting for permission to hold an 'indulged' meeting at the Tuckahoe Neck home of James Wilson. Shortly thereafter the Neck Meeting came into existence as a meeting for worship but not yet having 'preparative' status (that is, holding a business meeting reporting to the monthly meeting).

As Third Haven Monthly Meeting approached the end of the eighteenth century it appears to have been larger and stronger than at any time in its history. It now contained four meetings in Talbot County (with Bayside and Choptank being rather weak) and five in Caroline County (Greensboro being rather small). Four of the Caroline County meetingsÑCentre, Marshy Creek, Northwest Fork, and the Neck Meetings benefited from the continuing absorption of the Nicholites and became strong meetings. Several ministering Friends also came from the Nicholites, especially James Harrais, Elisha Dawson, and Elilzabeth Twyford.

Toward the close of the eighteenth century it was decided to enlarge the meetinghouse at Third Haven, so that it might better serve the needs of the monthly and quarterly meetings (now greatly enlarged, as a result of Third Haven's entering to Southern Quarterly Meeting). In 1797, the projecting entrance on the west side of the building and the smaller projection on the east side were removed and the meetinghouse was widened by a ten-foot extension the entire length of the building. Probabl;y it was at that time the door and small porch on the south end were built, in order to accommodate those using the newly acquired access to the main road. It was this 1797 addition which gives the building the slightly unbalanced look that some many visitors find rather intriguing.

Kenneth L. Carroll, Joseph Nichols and the Nicholites, A Look at the 'New Quakers' of Maryland, Delaware, North and South Carolina  (Easton MD., 1962); ÒAnother Look at the Nicholites, The Southern Friend,  V, No.2 (Autumn, 1983), 3-26, Quakerism on the Eastern Shore. Pp. 107-127. 

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century
Third Haven Monthly Meeting, now containing only the meeting at Third Haven, entered the twentieth century in a much weaker state than it had entered either the nineteenth or eighteenth centuries. From the 1862 low of seventy-five members, the meeting had climbed to a plateau of about one hundred and seven in the 1890s. In 1900, the membership totaled one hundred and eight, with eighty-eight being adults and twenty members being under the age of twenty-one. Some of these were non-resident members, while others were not always as active as might have been desired.

The same process of decline which had so threatened Third Haven in the nineteenth century once more appeared at the very start of the new century. There were few convincements, the Quaker birthrate had dropped, and younger members tended to go to the cities where opportunity and promise beckoned. So relentless was the process, year by year, that the 1913 membership reached an all-time low of seventy-three, a number of whom were non-resident. At this point the continuing loss was stopped, so that membership was stabilized. The monthly meeting, somewhat troubled at the state of the meeting and its future, appointed a committee composed of Wilson M. Tylor, Helen Shreve, George L. Bartlett, and Sallie P. Kemp, to investigate the question of how a renewed interest in the meeting might be awakened. Gradually an improvement took place, resulting in a slow increase in membership.

As the twentieth century unfolded a number of innovations in longstanding practices appeared. In 1908, the monthly business meeting, rather than continuing to be held at mid-week, was moved to First Day at the “rise” of the meeting for worship. Southern Quarterly Meeting, now containing only Third Haven and Northwest Fork Monthly Meetings in Maryland and Camden Monthly Meeting in Delaware, was changed to Southern Half Yearly Meeting in 1905 – with the spring meeting at Third Haven and the autumn gathering at Camden. Mid-week meeting for worship, usually quite small, was dropped at he beginning of 1919. Severe weather and the influenza epidemic which followed were its final undoing.

From 1880 until 1918, all meetings for worship, it appears, were in the “new” meetinghouse. A special meeting in the old meetinghouse in 1918 commemorated the two-hundredth anniversary of William Penn’s death. A number of special occasions in the 1920s and 1930s brought such well-known Quakers as Elbert Russell, Rufus M. Jones, Jesse Holmes, and George Walton to speak at the old meetinghouse. For a time, starting in 1924, “Third Haven Day” was held each June, serving as a sort of homecoming of members of the community. For a number of years, starting in 1926, the old meetinghouse hosted an annual union community service sponsored by Easton ministers. All of these gatherings served to make the larger community aware that Quakers were alive and well and still living in Talbot County!

Several innovations for the children’s benefit appeared. William H. Kemp donated an organ, so that the children might have it for their singing in First Day School. On the First Day before Christmas, 1919, a special celebration for the children was held in the “new” meetinghouse, involving a tree, music, “appropriate exercises”, and presents This proved to be so popular that, in modified form, it has continued each year. One of these Christmas gatherings at Third Haven produced an event which was actually mentioned in the New York Times – when Congressman Edward Tylor Miller (who was playing the part of Santa Claus, and who had lately slimmed down considerably by means of some special diet) lost his trousers in the very middle of passing out the presents. Unperturbed, he pulled up his pants with one hand and passed out another gift with the other!

The advent of the First World War caused a great deal of inward searching on the part of Quakers. Their peace testimony summoned them to refrain from war. Friends, however, increasingly saw it as a positive testimony which required them to relieve the suffering and misery which attended warfare. Out of this concern arose the American Friends Service Committee (usually referred to as the AFSC), which has become so well-known and widely respected not only for its relief work but also for its efforts to remove the causes of war and strife that it has, in conjunction with the British Friends Service Council, received the Nobel Peace Prize. Early in 1917, Third Haven Friends began to solicit funds for the work of the AFSC, as well as collecting clothing, blankets , and food in later years. On the1926 “Third Haven Day”, Wilbur K. Thomas of the AFSC spoke on the Quaker work done in Europe since World War I, and a German Friend told what his effort at relief and reconciliation had meant to the people of Europe. This support of the AFSC and its projects has continued through the years. Sizeable contributions were also made to the Near East Relief and Jewish Warfare Relief Fund at the end of World War I. This growing interest in the problems of Europe and the Near East did not, however, cause Third Haven Quakers to cease their contributions to local charities.

As World War I unfolded, Third Haven Friends began to hold public meetings in the interest of peace. Quaker and Baptist leaders were brought in as speakers at meetings which were well-attended. A peace committee was established and, as one of its projects, showed slides in some “motion picture parlors” opposing military training in schools. Once American participation in the war began, however, Third Haven Friends of military age tended to serve in the armed forces or with the YMCA rather than taking the conscientious objector’s position which Quakers of an earlier generation had embraced. In this regard they were not altogether out of harmony with their brethren in other meetings for the pacifism of earlier centuries had weakened to some degree as early as the Civil War – when the peace testimony came into conflict with the anti-slavery testimony so strongly embraced by many Quakers before that war erupted. Although the Society of Friends retained its peace testimony and position, individual persons were no longer “disciplined” for going against this basic Quaker position (just as they were no longer dealt with for “marrying out of unity”). Individual persons were now responsible for wrestling with what Quakerism and Christianity demanded of them in this new situation. Given the great campaign on the part of the government to convince the country that World War I was a war to make the world safe for democracy and a crusade to bring a new world order into being, it is not surprising that some Friends put aside their peace testimony. Other American churches were even more caught up in the war effort, becoming in a sense agents of the government – so much so that William Warren Sweet, the famous historian of religion in America, says that for the moment the old separation of church and state disappeared as the churches were to a very great degree “used” by the state.

In the 1920s there arose an increasing appreciation of the old meetinghouse, so that for a time one meeting for worship was held there each summer. In 1929, the meeting decided to hold all summer meetings for worship there, a practice which continues to the present time. By 1928, there was a growing sense of excitement concerning the upcoming two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the start of the building of the old meetinghouse. On October 23, 1932, a celebration was held to commemorate this milestone, and Rufus Jones (the best-known American Quaker of the twentieth century ) was present to speak to a house that was “overflowing”. An historical sketch, written and read by James Dixon, was accompanied by a pageant in which many of the people who had visited the meetinghouse in previous times were represented in the costumes of their day. An account of these commemorative proceedings was published shortly thereafter, just as had been done in connection with the two-hundredth anniversary celebration.

The 1930s appear to have been relatively quiet and uneventful for Third Haven, although there seems to have developed a growing concern for the preservation of the old meetinghouse and for bringing in visiting speakers for public meetings – with Anna D. L. Gillespie, David Lindsay Gillespie, and Mabel Lindsay Gillespie contributing funds towards these projects. Others would continue to make gifts and bequests to the meeting over the next half-century, showing their love for the meeting and their appreciation of its work.

The 1940s were difficult for Third Haven Friends, producing problems of several different types. Rationing of gasoline and tires, brought on by World War II, led to the dropping of business meetings in the summer of 1943. During the winter of 1944, the meeting found it impossible to obtain fuel oil and also discovered that there was a “lack of members who can attend during the winter months.” The meeting for worship was, therefore, laid down for the winter months. Perhaps the most surprising development during the war period, as reflected in the minutes, was the lack of appreciation for, and acceptance of, the Society’s historic peace testimony by a number of members. Yet, throughout it all, Elizabeth T. W. Dixon continued her activities on behalf of the AFSC, so that approximately five thousand garments were dispatched by the sewing class she headed.

The author of this sketch first began attending Third Haven Meeting at the end of 1946, not too long after the war had ended. He remembers that meetings were frequently quite small, often made up of middle-aged and the elderly. With the deaths of James Dixon and Wilson Tylor a short time before, there came a sense of acute loss. Yet, when needed, other members stepped forward to do the tasks which needed doing. There was a small group, a “backbone” of the meeting, which one could usually count on seeing: Elizabeth T. W. Dixon, Dr. W. T. Hammond and his wife Edna Speakman Hammond, Hall Wrightson (a former mayor of Easton) and his wife Marian Tylor Wrightson, Bessie Tylor Claggett, Richard B. Willson, Virginia Bartlett Gibney and a few others. They deeply appreciated visitors and took encouragement from the interest shown by the occasional new attender.

In the years following World War II a bit of new life gradually came into the meeting, leading to further restoration of the old meetinghouse and improvements to the upper floor of the “new” meetinghouse (used as classrooms for the First Day School). As early as 1946, William H. Kemp had called for replacing the inadequate caretaker’s cottage. Not until the 1950s, when Mary Bartlett Dixon Cullen became concerned with this project, was the meeting able to move ahead - erecting the new caretaker’s home about 1960.

As the meeting moved into the third quarter of the century, the new life which had already begun stirring continued to develop. Study groups arose from time to time. Invitations went out to “weighty” Friends (such as Douglas and Dorothy Steere, Elizabeth Gray Vining, EltonTrueblood, and Clarence Pickett) to come for a visit – sometimes to give a public address and other times just to be with Friends for a weekend visit and meeting for worship. The number of members and attenders (non-members) continued to increase, with some of the attenders requesting membership. Friends from Baltimore and Philadelphia began to move into the Talbot area, either as permanent or summer residents. Among those coming into the area who proved to be of special value to Third Haven in the 195-1975 period were William H.Norris and Caroline Lippincott Forman. He quite willingly served in any capacity the meeting desired; and she had a special gift for making visitors feel welcome and instilled in a number of them the desire to return again, so that several members say she was largely responsible for drawing them to the meeting.

In 1959, Third Haven celebrated the two hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of the first meeting in Third Haven Meetinghouse. Clarence Pickett of the AFSC and author of For More Than Bread spoke, as did Kenneth Carroll. A pageant, directed by George D. Olds II, was also presented. In 1962, by special request, Third Haven sponsored a public meeting to help mark the tercentenary of Talbot County’s establishment, with Kenneth Carroll speaking on “Quakerism and its Effects on Three Hundred Years of Talbot County History.”

Although there was a deep appreciation of history and what might be learned from it, the gaze of Third Haven at the end of the 1950s was not just on the past. There was a growing awareness that a religion which is alive is one that is at home in the present - that it must be rooted in experience and active in the present (recognizing that, as the gospels say, “A good tree produces good fruit.”). Gradually but steadily, since the 1950s, and especially in more recent years, Third Haven has grown, both in size and in the quality of its religious life. This growth has manifested itself in many ways: greater participation in yearly meeting activities and study programs (including Bible study, the “Quaker Core” program, and Pendle Hill courses). Even more significant, however, has been the spiritual deepening of the meeting for worship, which in recent years seems to have been more fully rooted in the “living presence”. This spiritual deepening of both the meeting and the life of its members has expressed itself in several ways: a meeting for worship that is alive (that not only “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable” but also feeds those that “hunger and thirst” for the triumph of love and righteousness in the world and in their own lives), a growing social concern (leading Third Haven Friends to such things as helping to resettle refugee families ans setting up an interest-free loan fund for the repair of houses owned by the poor0, a reawakening of the peace testimony, and a Growing sense of “community”.

As Third Haven approaches the celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the old meetinghouse in 1984, it can do so with a much more optimistic outlook than on the 1884, 1909, 1932, and 1959 occasions. A new common room, patterned after a Pennsylvania meetinghouse, was erected in 1982, so that the meeting can better serve the needs of a growing congregation and the larger community. An expansion of the caretaker’s house was approved in 1983. The members of the meeting endorsed these two projects with enthusiasm, both in financial contributions and verbal expression. Even more significant than these material developments is the continuing spiritual growth of the meeting and its members – for this is Third Haven’s greatest asset. If the members remain faithful to the way of life and to the quality of service to which God calls them, there is no room for fear about the future. A sense of confidence (but not complacency) should be theirs as meeting and members enter the fourth century of Third Haven’s existence, still seeking to be obedient to the Light and once more hearing George Fox’s call to “Let Your Lives Speak!”

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |

An Architectural History of Third Haven Meetinghouse
Orlando Ridout V
The Third Haven Quaker Meeting House is today one of the most significant landmarks in the State of Maryland. Historically, the Meeting is of national importance for its role in the early establishment of Quakerism in America. Architecturally, the Meeting House is significant as the earliest positively dated building in Maryland and as an extraordinarily well-preserved example of 17th and 18th century building practice. Perhaps of equal importance, Third Haven is one of those rare buildings that fully capture and convey a multi-dimensional sense of the past. On entering the building, one is immediately overwhelmed with a sense of timeless antiquity and the powerful simplicity of a space that has served Eastern Shore Quakers for three centuries.

While Third Haven is today the earliest Quaker meeting house in Maryland, and is in fact probably the oldest surviving building in the state, it was not the first Quaker meeting house to be built on the Eastern Shore.

In the first years after Quakerism found a foothold on the shore, meetings were generally held in the homes of members, with the location rotating from house to house.

The first meeting house constructed on the central Eastern Shore is believed to have been built for the Betty’s Cove Meeting on the Miles River. This probably occurred in the mid-to late 1660s, for in 1672, George Fox, on his second visit to Talbot County noted that the building could no longer contain the people “though they had not long before enlarged their meeting place, and made it as large again as it was before.” In 1676, additional repairs and alterations were made to the meeting house at Betty’s Cove.

It was thus Concluded by the Meeting that the meeting-house att Betty’s cove Should be finished as followeth: viz. To Seale the Gable End and the Loft with Clapboard and Make A partition betwixt the new Roome and the old three foot high Seiled and with windowes to Lift up and Down and to be hung with hinges according to the Discretion of Bryan Omealy and John Pitt who are appointed by the meeting to have the Oversight of the same and to be done with what Conveniency may be…

A number of interesting conclusions may be drawn from this description. It would appear that the original meeting house consisted of a single room that was then enlarged by the addition of a second room. The reference to a low partition between the two rooms “with windowes to Lift up and Down” suggests a meeting space segregated in much the same fashion as Third Haven is today. The windows (referred to in 1678 as “falling windows”) were apparently hinged at the top and could be raised or lowered as required. Also of interest is the order “to Seale the Gable end and the loft with Clapboard” and a later reference in 1678 that the meeting house was to have been “Lofted”. From these remarks, it would appear that the loft of the meeting house was not floored originally but was left open to the roof. The use of clapboards is also noteworthy. In contrast to the modern use of this term, in the 17th and 18th centuries “clapboard” referred to four or five foot lengths of riven board made from bolts of oak or pine using a froe and mallet. They were widely used for both siding and roofing, and occasionally were also used as flooring in loft spaces that would not be used on a regular basis. A notable example of this flooring technique survives at Cloverfield (circa 1730) near Wye Mills. An entry in the Third Haven minutes in 1678 suggests that these alterations were later deemed unnecessary and were never executed; and it would appear that some meetings were for a time conducted in private homes rather than the meeting house:

The mens meeting att the house of Wenlock Christison the 24th of 1st month 1676 ordering yt the meeting house att betties cove should be Lofted and p(ar)titioned with falling Windows hung with hinges it then being the place of the halfe yeare meeting but Since for several reasons it was thought… that the halfe yeare meeting Should be removed to the house of John Edmondson this meeting Judgeth that the forementioned things appointed to be Done may now be omitted .

The meeting concluded and agreed that ye 5th day meetings att Betty’s cove Should be removed from the meeting house and goe from house to house beginning first att the house of Bryon Omealia….

As membership continued to expand, other meeting houses became necessary. The first references to Tuckahoe Meeting House, located near what is now Matthewstown, appear in the records in 1679, and as early as 1676 an order was issued that Tuckahoe and Michaels River meetings “gett them a Buri-ing place Securely pailed in.

In 1681 it was determined that another meeting house was needed, and that it should be sufficiently large to serve for half-year meetings: It is assented to and concluded by this meeting that a halfe yeare meeting house be builded upon John Edmondsons land according to the advice of the Halfe year Meeting at westriver and that it be built upon the most convenient Point for a good Landing and Respecting Richard Mitchell for conveniency of passage over the creeck, and that the house be builded 40 foote Long and 22 foote wide; and 20 foot Long and 22 foote wide against the broad Side of the aforesaid 40 foote house in the form of a T and to be good Substantalle Work and petitioned Most Suitable for the accomodating of friends both att the halfe year and Quarterly meeting according to the discretion of those friends hereafter Named who are appointed by this meeting to have the Oversight of the Same So as to procure work-men, Receive the Nayles that friends brings in , and mannage the whole concern which friends are Wm.Southebee, Richd. Mitchell, Lovelace Gorsuch, Ralph Fishbourn, Bryon Omealia, John Edmondson, John Pitt and Henry Woolchurch….

In the months that followed, lumber was purchased for use in the new building, but land was not acquired until late the following year. At a meeting on the 27th day of the 8th month 1682 a committee was appointed to purchase the land and new specifications were drawn up for a meeting house to be similar in plan and detail but nearly half again as large as the building specified the previous year: This Meeting according to ye advice of ye last halfe yeares meeting make choice of Wm. Southebee, Henry Woolchurch, Wm. Sharp, Lovelace Gorsuch, and Wm. Stevens junr to purchase ye land for ye meeting house of John Edmondson and ye aforsd friends advise together for ye most convenient place upon the said Land to Sett ye house upon and also to agree with ye carpenter or carpenters for ye Building of ye Said house according to the dimentions hereafter Specified viz. 60 foote 22 foote wideand to be Strong Substantiall Framed work with good white oak ground Sills and posts with girders and Summers and Small Joyst and ye upper Floors to be laid with plank and ye Roofe to be Double Raftered and good principle Rafters every t{w]o foote and to be Double Studded below, and to be well Braced, and windowes convenient and shutters at Each End of ye house so yt they may be intire and 20 foot Vacant betwixt them and for other conveniencys to be Left to the Discretion of ye aforesaid friends….

An agreement was reached with John Salter for building the meeting house and work proceeded. By late in the year of 1683, Salter had evidently fallen behind schedule for completing the building, and entries in the minute book repeatedly mention discussions with Salter concerning his progress. At one point, the builder alleged that the wet weather had prevented the work crew from sawing plank and then pledged to complete the job satisfactorily.

Finally, on the 24th day of the 8th month, 1684, almost precisely two years after the building specifications were recorded, the Monthly meeting was held for the first time in the new meeting house “att the head of Trad-haven creek.” Though the building was now sufficiently complete to use for meetings, the minute book continued to record negotiations with John Salter for more than a year after the first meeting was held in the building.

When the building specifications were drawn up in 1681 and 1682, a committee was appointed to oversee the project, and while the overall form of the building and numerous details were articulated, other decisions were left “to the Discretion of ye aforesaid friends” (the committee). By comparing the building specifications as recorded with the building that stands today, it is possible to gain a relatively detailed picture of the original appearance of the building.

The most critical point to recognize is that the building committee and/or the carpenter took a broad interpretation of how much “discretion” they should exercise. The building that was constructed utilized the general dimensions specified in 1682 and included the projecting west wing ordered in 1681 as well as a smaller east wing not mentioned in the specifications. The second story loft evidently was not partitioned until 1698-99, and then was divided into two rectangular chambers, with the “vacant” chamber in the center omitted. Of equal interest are the liberties taken in the framing system. The specifications of 1682 called for a “double raftered” roof with principal rafters above a double studded frame with summer beams supporting smaller joists. Exercising his discretion, the carpenter built a braced heavy timber frame with a substantial joist ceiling that omitted any need for summer beams and a roof system constructed with common rafters on 2_ foot centers.

While the minute books provide few if any additional clues to the original appearance of the building, the architectural evidence that survives is considerably more helpful. The meeting house as it stands today is in fact the result of two very distinct periods of construction.

The original section, dating to 1682-84, is rectangular in plan and originally served as the main blockof a larger building with a modified cruciform plan. In 1797, however, the cross-wings were demolished and the main section was enlarged to the west (toward Tred Avon Creek) to increase the floor area of the meeting room. The old symmetrically proportioned gable roof was altered and enlarged to the west to form the asymmetrical “salt box” profile that survives today. Numerous other alterations were made in 1797, but before describing these, it would be useful to examine surviving evidence and the original minute books to create a conjectural image of the early meeting house.

In its original late 17th century form , the Third Haven Meeting House consisted of a modified cruciform plan building. The central block measured 60_ feet long and 22 feet deep. A nearly square cross-wing measuring 22 feet by 20 feet was centered on the west elevation of the main block, facing the water approach on Tredhaven Creek. A smaller cross-wing, measuring approximately 10 to 12 feet, was centered on the east façade of the main block. The west cross-wing, demolished in 1797, served as the original front of the building. Presumably there was one entrance door on the west gable wall of the cross-wing, opening into a large entrance lobby. A staircase in this room provided the only access to the second story chambers, and a pair of doors at the east end of this lobby and stair hall opened into the principal meeting room which was presumably divided by a partition with movable windows or panels. An elevated elders’ bench with an ornate balustrade, known as the “facing” bench, stretched across the center portion of the east wall of the meeting room, and a door in the center of the east wall opened into the small east cross-wing. Plain benches were built into at least three and probably all four walls of the main meeting room. On the second floor, there were two finished chambers above the principal meeting room, one unfinished room above the lobby/stair hall and a small unfinished loft over the east cross-wing.

The stairs ascended to the unfinished west chamber, and a pair of doors in the east wall of this room opened into the two finished chambers over the meeting room. These rooms were divided by a vertical paneled board partition and were finished with plastered walls and ceiling. Narrow wood benches lined the three exterior walls of each room. Beaded collar beams above the existing plaster ceiling indicate that the plaster finish was an early but not original feature. A small door set in a beaded frame in the northeast corner of the south chamber opened into the loft of the east cross-wing. The exterior of the building was covered with weatherboard siding rather than riven clapboards, and the roof was covered with round butt shingles. The window openings were similar in size to those that survive today, but were glazed with leaded casement sash.

In 1690, within a few years of the completion of the meeting house, a payment of 2041 pounds of tobacco was ordered for Ralph Fishbourn, “it being ye one halfe of what he disbursed for building ye house for Conveniency at the Creek Side near our Great meeting house.” This building was evidently intended for lodging Western Shore Friends attending the quarterly or yearly meetings. Two years later an order for 1200 feet of plank was ordered sent over to the Western Shore, “there being a house to be built at West River Landing for ye Conveniency of Eastern Shore Friends and they have a dependency upon friends on this Shore for plank.”

About the Authors A native of Easton, Maryland, Dr. Kenneth L. Carroll received his BA, BD, and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University, where he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Carroll is the author of Quakerism on the Eastern Shore, joseph Nichols and the Nicholites, and John Perrot, Early Quaker Schismatic and the editor of Creative Centre of Quakerism. He has also published more than sixty articles on Quakerism in numerous American and British historical journals.

While a student a Duke University the author became a member of the Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends. He was one of the founders of the Dallas Monthly Meeting and was chosen to be its first Clerk. He also served as the first Clerk of South Central Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Dr. Carroll has been active in many Quaker organizations, including the Friends World Committee for Consultation, Friends General Conference, American Friends Service Committee, and Friends Committee on National Legislation. He has traveled widely among Friends in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

A member of the Department of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, since 1952, Dr. Carroll has held the rank of Professor since 1960. He has lectured at Pendle Hill (the Quaker Study Center in Pennsylvania), served as the T. Wistar Brown Fellow at Haverford College in 1969-1970, and now is a member of the Board of Pendle Hill. Professor Carroll also holds life membership in the following organizations: Friends Historical Association (USS), Friends Historical Society (U.K.), Society of Biblical Literature, Maryland Historical Society, and the Penn Club (London).

Orlando Ridout V earned a B.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia in 1977. He has worked as an architectural surveyor for the Maryland Historical Trust, and since 1982 has served as Survey Coordinator for that agency. He has taught architectural history at Chesapeake College and lectures frequently on Maryland architecture and history A member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum’s board of directors and a founder of the Chesapeake Farm Building Survey, Ridout is currently at work on a comprehensive historical-architectural history of Queen Anne’s County.

The Dawn of Quakerism | The Origins of Talbot County Quakerism | Talbot County Quakerism | Demographics | Quaker Life In Colonial Talbot County | Third Haven Quakers and Slavery | Third Haven Quakerism 1710-1800 | Third Haven Quakerism in the 20th Century | Appendix |