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Notes and Documents THE CHRONICLES OF JOHN AND ZACHARIAH AN INCIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF MIDWESTERN PROGRESSIVE FRIENDS Edited by Willard C. Heiss* The following document, dealing with a little-known phase of Quaker history, is extremely rare.1 Rare as a piece of printing, it is equally rare as an example of humorous Quakeriana. Long discord in Indiana Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) had culminated in 1844 in the laying down of Green Plain Quarterly Meeting. This dissension had arisen primarily over irreconcilable methods of treating the slavery problem within the framework of the Discipline. Proposals were made to change the Discipline by altering or eliminating the authority of the Meeting of Ministers and Elders. Other innovations were also agitated. Almost all the meetings were affected to some degree, but none so seriously as Green Plain. The disaffected members throughout the Yearly Meeting finally organized themselves as Progressive or Congregational Friends.2 The following paper has to do with the state of affairs in Miami Monthly Meeting, Waynesville, Ohio, in 1846. CHRONICLES Chapter I 1. And it came to pass in the days of James,3 who was reigning * Willard C. Heiss of Indianapolis is especially interested in the history of Friends in Indiana. 1 A copy of this scarce broadside has recently been given to the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 2 See Allen C. Thomas, "Congregational or Progressive Friends: A Forgotten Episode in Quaker History," Bulletin of Friends Historical Association, X (1920), 21-31. 3 James K. Polk, 11th President of the United States (1845-1849). 99 100Bulletin of Friends Historical Association over the twenty-seven provinces of the United States; and at the time Mordecai4 was Governor of Ohio; that an honest man, whose name was Zachariah,5 being moved by the Spirit began to preach to the children of George Fox, saying, 2."Ye have backslidden, and become a stiff-necked people observing forms instead of the substance, and unless ye repent, and become baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, ye cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." 3.And as he was moved by the Spirit, he divers times met in the assemblies of his kinsfolk, and his neighbors, and preached unto them; he also, as the way opened preached in the assemblies of the Baptists, the orthodox Quakers, and the Methodists. 4.Wherefore, some of the young Priesthood, being moved with a fiery zeal, summoned Zachariah to give an account of his stewardship to the Miami monthly Convocation. 5.And the Convocation appointed David, James and Joseph, all goodly men, as a Committee to visit Zachariah, and to make a righteous report of his state of mind, to a succeeding monthly Convocation.6 6.And the Committee visited him three times, in three successive months, and reported to the Convocation in these words, "We have visited Zachariah to a good degree of satisfaction, and are willing he should be continued a member." 7.Then Amos, the joking priest, and Abram the little prophet, said—We are not satisfied with the report of the Committee, and we are of the mind, that Zachariah ought to be cast out of the camp. 8.But the body of the convocation said, Zachariah is a worthy man, God forbid that he should be cast out of the camp; so there 4 Mordecai Bartley, 13th Governor of Ohio (1844-1846). 5 Zachariah M. Johnson (1786-1848), a member of Miami Monthly Meeting of (Hicksite) Friends. 6 Minutes (Men's) of Miami Monthly Meeting, Eighth Month 27, 1845: "Grove Preparative Meeting [located at Harveysburg, Warren County] informs that Zachariah M. Johnson has been neglectful in the attendance of our meetings and has appointed meetings contrary to the order of Friends; James Hollingsworth, Joseph Hollingsworth and David Brown were appointed to visit him on the occasion and report to next meeting." Notes and Documents101 was a division of sentiment in the convocation, and much debate ensued. 9.And when they could not decide the matter at that time, the said Committee was continued, with the addition thereto of Amos, the joking priest, and Jonah and Israel and James the scribe, to visit Zachariah again, and report his state of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 99-105
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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