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50Quaker History The two volumes commemorate the tercentenary of the founding of Pennsylvania in the best possible way—by helping more ofus understand more of it. Wesleyan UniversityRichard T. Vann Friends andNeighbors: Group Life in America 's FirstPlural Society. By Michael Zuckerman. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982.255 pp. $29.95. Friends and Neighbors is a collection of eight essays on colonial and Revolutionary Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Ofthe eight essays four treat only the Quakers and are the subject ofmost ofthis review. A fifth treats the Scots in New Jersey and another Anglicans in Philadelphia. In a seventh Laura Becker investigates the diversity and interrelations among groups in Reading, Pennsylvania. The last essay, on the Continental Army at Valley Forge, does not complement the theme of the collection as well as the others do. In this essay 'The Birth of the "Modern Family" in Early America,' Barry Levy attributes to the Quaker family a unique place in history. Historians generally hold that not until the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century were families characterized by voluntary, affectionate marriages, nuclear households with financial independence, fewer chilren, and tender, intensive rearing of children. Had families followed such practices before economic circumstances were appropriate, the families would presumably have floundered economically and otherwise. Levy finds that Quaker families in Pennsylvania first showed the attributes of the modern family. His best evidence of the tender nurture of children is that Quaker parents accumulated land for the benefit oftheir children and distributed it to them upon their marriages without coercive conditions in the bequests. Levy's other evidence is ofa more conventional kind: respecting the role ofengaged Friends in contracting marriage, the Quaker parents' attention to childrearing, and of the monthly meetings regulation of family life. Finally, Levy shows that Friends, practicing modern family conduct, outstripped their Anglican neighbors economically while the Anglicans especially followed premodern family regulation. The modern practices of the Quakers proved more successful in the physical setting of Pennsylvania than traditional practices at the unlikely time ofthe eighteenth century. Valerie Gladfelter's essay on Burlington Monthly Meeting falls considerably below the commendable standards of the other essays Book Reviews51 on Quakers. She has read and quantified the records of delinquency ofthe Meeting from 1678 and 1720 and divided the period into three parts characterized by different relationships between the Meeting and its members. The essay is basically flawed, however, because the data means little without an understanding of how many members there were in the meeting. Ofthis population, and also the surrounding non-Quaker one, we get only the most meager and glib reference. Gladfelter also shows little understanding of the historical origins and use of Quaker discipline, nor ofa monthly meeting's situation in a larger Quaker organization. Gladfelter could hardly have done better than to have followed the example of Susan Forbes in her essay on New Garden Monthly Meeting entitled "Quaker Tribalism." She describes not only delinquency rates accurately but also the patterns of participation in the business ofthe Meeting. After identifying the activists and leaders in the Meeting she discovered that their distinguishing characteristic was their family ties to other activist members. She also finds that after 1755 a more exclusive Society of Friends was forged mostly by the strict application of the marriage discipline. Forbes's essay corroborates Levy's pronouncment upon the utmost importance of the family in Quaker life. Nancy Tomes ingeniously investigated the visiting patterns among women Friends in Philadelphia, 1750 to 1800, and has extracted from these pedestrian records some fascinating and significant conclusions . Quaker women circulated almost exclusively among other Quakers and with that circle they favored their kin. But the larger circle of the Society and the smaller one of family did not conflict. Tomes writes: "Trying to unravel the two affiliations soon leads to the recognition that they became all the stronger as they were so effectively intertwined" (p. 190). Because solidarity with kin is an ancient practice which yet prospered among Pennsylvania Quakers whom Levy characterizes as "modern," we have a mixed portrait of the Quaker family in these essays. There remains however, the common discovery of the immense importance of the family within Quakerism. Tucson, ArizonaJack...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 50-51
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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