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BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTES125 policies unfavorably affecting trade, while taking a conservative position in regard to any action affecting the constitutional foundations of the province. This fear of an internal revolution, which might well endanger their privileges and rights under Penn's charter, made them oppose any break between die colonies and Britain. When the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting issued an epistle pledging its loyalty and allegiance to the King. The local Friends also opposed the Continental Association. On January 20, 1776, the Philadelphia Meeting for Sufferings, in an effort to prevent Pennsylvania from supporting the radical cause, issued an Ancient Testimony which renewed allegiance to the King and opposed independence. This statement roused the ire of the patriots and brought the accusation that the Friends were dabbling in politics. They had made their position known, though, and it guided their actions throughout the Revolution. In writing this book the author has done good service to the scholarly community. The style is good, the research extensive, and the conclusions are sound and well substantiated. Harry M. Tinkcom Jesse Herman Holmes, 1864-1942: A Quaker's Affirmation for Man. By Albert J. Wahl. Richmond, Indiana: Friends United Press. 1979. xvii, 447 pages. $10.95. One of my earliest memories of Friends is reading a pamphlet I picked up at the Reading, Pennsylvania, Meeting House entitled "To the Scientifically Minded." The author was Jesse Holmes, a professor at Swarthmore College. His essay made a lot of sense to a college age youth who considered himself a religious seeker. Some year later when I met Jesse Holmes and heard him expound his ideas on socialism with that twinkle in his blue eyes I was again impressed that this was a most remarkable person. Reading Albert J. Wahl's biography confirms these early impressions. Jesse Holmes was one of a number of outstanding Friends whose roots were in the Midwest. He was born in West Liberty, Iowa, and entered the University of Nebraska when he was fifteen. He supported himself while at the University and later in graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry. He taught first at Sidwell Friends School, and then at George School where he joined die faculty when die school opened in 1893. In 1898 he was appointed to teach philosophy and religion at Swarthmore College, with a year's leave in order to better prepare himself for the new assignment. He combined widespread travel with a year at Oxford and returned to Swarthmore to teach such diverse subjects as ancient, medieval and modem history, psychology, and a variety of science courses in addition to those specifically related to his stated fields. Years later, Swarthmore's President John Nason said that Holmes had a "very wide, though not very deep range of learning. . . ." He quickly became a very popular teacher, nicknamed "Ducky" by the students, and continued teaching until 1937, three years beyond the normal retirement age. His nephew spoke truly when he said, "He never retired from anything ." 126QUAKER HISTORY Former students have provided ample testimony concerning the effectiveness of Jesse Holmes's classroom performance. He was always probing, raising troublesome questions and often espousing shocking ideas. He was an enthusiastic participant in the Honors Program, but he was not inclined to research and writing. His many interests precluded a scholarly life, even if he had desired to pursue one. He was a dedicated agitator for social justice, a person whose honeymoon trip included a temperance lecture. Because he was such a brilliant speaker he was much in demand by various groups whose concerns overlapped his. A major figure in Hicksite circles, he spoke to hundreds of Quaker gatherings expressing concerns for economic justice, racial equality, a more dynamic peace witness, civil liberties and other social issues. He was a co-founder of the AFSC and a traveling commissioner in Europe for the Friends Reconstruction Unit. In later life he became a newspaper columnist. He also spent fourteen summers on the Chautauqua circuit, and ran ior Congress and for governor of Pennsylvania on the Socialist ticket. Each of these activities brought a new audience and untold numbers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 125-126
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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