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Historical News Friends Historical Association For its Spring Meeting on Fifth Month 18, 1957, Friends Historical Association went to the old Exeter Meetinghouse in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Exeter Meeting was settled in the Oley Valley above Pottstown and Reading over 255 years ago; the present meetinghouse will be 200 years old in 1958. And last year the meeting was reconstituted as a monthly meeting after a lapse of over fifty years. Several members of the newly constituted meeting—Herbert Jackson, and Victor and Edna May Child Bieber—retold the story of the meeting; John E. Eshelman, a local historian of Berks County, answered questions about Exeter and other meetings in the county; David S. Keiser reported some new findings as to the Quaker connections of Abraham Lincoln's family, who lived in the neighborhood in the eighteenth century. Many of the sixty-five Friends present followed the suggestions of the Entertainment Committee, and availed themselves of the opportunity to visit Pottsgrove in Pottstown, to call at the Biebers' Thornbeck Farm near Amityville, where the house dates from about 1735, and to inspect the Hopewell Furnace National Monument. At the conclusion of the meeting Exeter Friends furnished refreshments for the picnic supper which was held at the Daniel Boone Homestead nearby. From Quaker Libraries Three interesting items recently added to the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College concern the tentative plan of Ludwig van Beethoven to compose an opera dealing with William Penn and the founding of Pennsylvania. The letters, written in 1948 by an official of the Vienna Akademie für Musik and by the American music critic Deems Taylor in reply to inquiries , substantiate the fact that around 1820 a young Viennese poet named Johann Baptist (or Janitschek) Rupprecht, who had earlier had some of his verses set to music by Beethoven, wrote 116 Historical News117 a sketch for the Penn libretto and showed it to the great composer. Beethoven is said to have liked the idea, but, being busy with his D-major Mass, he laid it aside and never took it up again. The libretto of Die Gründung von Pennsylvanien still existed in 1877 among the Beethoven papers of the composer's friend Anton Schindler, but, according to Otto Kinkeldey (Musical Quarterly, XIII [1927], 219), "no one has since been able to discover it." Among other recent accessions at the Friends Historical Library may be mentioned a collection of letters of Emily Howland , a New York Quaker girl who worked among the freed slaves in the South after the Civil War (see Henrietta Jaquette's article in this number of the Bulletin) ; a group of letters from Isaac Eyre, a Bucks County Friend, to Isaac Hicks of Long Island, written in the 1870's and '80's; approximately eighty letters of an earlier Isaac Hicks of Long Island, the cousin and traveling companion of Elias Hicks; and two oil paintings—"The Quaker Wedding" by Howard PyIe and a portrait of Lucretia Mott's mother, Anna Folger Coffin. * * * The diaries of John Parrish (1730-1807), a minister of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, have been deposited in the Quaker Collection of the Haverford College Library, on indefinite loan from St. Charles Seminary Library, Overbrook. These diaries are in nine volumes and cover the years 1784 to 1805, while John Parrish was traveling over a wide area to visit Quaker families and meetings. These little manuscript volumes contain much useful information about religious and economic conditions among Friends in that period. Miss Elizabeth S. Trotter has presented to the Haverford Quaker Collection a manuscript poem written by her mother, Elizabeth Stanley Trotter (Mrs. William H. Trotter). This poem, entitled "The Children of Light," was written by Mrs. Trotter in the later years of her life. She was not a Friend but was keenly interested in seventeenth-century Quakerism, and wrote what became a more than 500-page narrative poem based on George Fox's Journal and other material relating to the early Friends. *J¿.??, 'TE"W The University of Chicago and the University of Virginia 118Bulletin of Friends' Historical Association are sponsoring the publication of a new and complete edition of the papers of James Madison. The editors will appreciate...


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