Historical notes regarding Thomas McClintock

Contributed by Christopher Densmore, Curator Friends Historical Library

The Journal was a Hicksite Quaker publication in the 1870s and 1880s, edited by Joseph Gibbons and his daughter Phebe E. Gibbons (from Lampeter, now Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County, PA). The Gibbons were actively involved in anti-slavery and the Underground Railroad for several generations, and their publication contains some interesting recollections of the anti-slavery times, plus news of Friends., like Joseph Dugdale, who had been active in the anti-slavery movement.

The issue of 3 Mo. 22, 1876, has an column of “Friendly Items” containing news of Quaker doings, including:

“In Philadelphia, on First-day morning lasst, 19th inst., Thomas McClintock died in his 84th year. Being at the foot of the stairs he fell in an apopletic fit and expired.

He was not originally a member among Friends, but was was united with them early in life. He learned the drug business with a well known Friend in t he southern part of our city, and I believe was a fellow apprentice of the late Henry M. Zollikoffer, who also became a member though convincement. He married Mary Ann Wilson (who survives him,) daughter of Charles Wilson, a well esteemed Friend. At the time of the separation, he took an active interest in matters then in progress. As he resided then, and for some years later at Fifth and Callowhill Streets, he was a member of Green street Monthly Meeting, but about 1837-7, removed to Waterloo, NY., and became a member of Junius meeting where his ministry was acknowleged, and I think he was at one time clerk of Genesee Yearly Meeting. Continue reading

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Group works to save 1816 Farmington building

This article originally ran in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Passers-by might not realize the importance of the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, which now looks like a barn hit by a hurricane.

But Judith Wellman, a historian who has spearheaded efforts to save this meetinghouse in north Farmington, Ontario County, says that the building played such an important role in struggles for equal rights that it must be saved.

“It doesn’t look so good now, but you will be proud when it is really restored,” said Wellman, who lives in Fulton,Oswego County, and is working with a small group of residents from the Farmington area on a fundraising plan.

Many crusaders for justice, including Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, gathered there during the 19th century.

“It is the most important building in the town of Farmington,” said Helen Kirker, a Farmington native who lives in the Ontario County town of Seneca and who has been involved in meetinghouse restoration efforts. Continue reading

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Anonymous gift, fund raising, and National Register nomination for Alasa Farms

Hello Friends–

1. Fund-raising for Phase I–Stabilization and Enclosure: Yesterday, we received wonderful, fantabulous news! An anonymous donor is giving $10,000 toward our match for the $47,000 we received last year from the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom, to carry out the next phase of this project–stabilizing and enclosing the Meetinghouse so that it can be moved across the road. Thank you! Thank you, to this wonderful person! What a superb gift, at this critical time. True blessings on thee! This means that we have “only” $12,500 to go to fund this first phase.

2. Fund-raising for Phase II (Moving the Meetinghouse across the road) and Phase III (Preservation and Restoration): Our next step is to raise somewhere around $100,000 for the move itself, which we hope that we can do by next spring. We will need to raise this from private or state sources. For preservation and restoration, our grant proposal to Save America’s Treasures will be sent out tomorrow. This is a matching grant, and total cost of this phase is $1,077,188. Send good energies to Save America’s Treasures!

3. National Register Nomination for Alasa Farms (Shakers and Fourierist Community associated with Farmington Meetinghouse). With the help of many, many people, including Nancy Todd from our SHPO’s office, Alasa Farms (home of the Sodus Bay Shaker Community and the Sodus Bay Phalanx (a Fourierist community where many people associated with the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse lived in the 1840s) is being nominated to the National Register. Draft nomination is online at http://nysparks.state.ny.us/shpo/register/nominations/AlasaFarms.pdf. Continue reading

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Judith Wellman and Helen Kirker meet with Farmington Town Board

Hi Friends–Last night, Helen and I gave a update about our project to the Farmington Town Board. We were very pleased at their kind reception and very appreciative of all their patience over the past three years. We gave the copies of our 2008 annual report, our new draft brochure, our National Register nomination, and the two-page update (attached here). Many thanks to the Board and people of Farmington!

The next meeting of the Steering Committee will be on Tuesday, June 2, at 12:30 at the West Wayne restaurant, on the south side of Route 31 in Macedon, just east of the intersection with Route 350. Many thanks to Carol Elaine and Richard Deys for making this reservation and also for taking copies of our draft brochure to the Macedon Historical Society meeting last evening.

Moving right along!


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a Trustee’s Report to the Macedon Library Board

The First Minutes of the Town of Macedon, dated 1823, have made the transition from the finder, Sally Millick, to Judy Gravino and the Town Board, to the Bullis Room Committee at the MPL, and to the specialist who will be creating a folder and whatever is needed to restore and protect the original First Minutes of the Town of Macedon.


  • The 1816 Farmington Quaker Meeting House, which certainly duly served the Macedon Community even before it was officially given that name, has established a Board of Trustees along with the expanding Steering Committee to oversee the restoration of not only the building, but the expansion of many good projects from this area. Currently The National Park Service is creating a reconnaissance study. The community is also honored to have the renowned John G. (Jack) Waite of the project’s National Advisory Team, overseeing this project. Mr. Waite has just been awarded the National 2009 Institute Honor Award for Architects by the American Institute of Architects.
  • A Sacred Site potential Grant is under consideration for this extensive, historical area which again – duly touches into the Town and Village of Macedon proper.
  • A co-operative group newly named the Macedon Bridge Builders is now meeting monthly on the third Thursday, after The Friends of MPL gathering. Currently it consists of Sally Millick, Denie Johnston and Carol Deys. Two more – John Cieslinski and Maryanne Miller of BOOKS, ETC. are also part of this expanding group. We are focusing upon the many historical treasures which surround us in this area, and plan to continue celebrating their historical value. Currently we are also celebrating the first oral history recording made by the Macedon Memory Makers of the Friends of MPL.
  • John and Maryanne of BOOKS, ETC. also host The Wayne County Writers’ Group which meets biweekly here in Macedon. There is a newly evolving Small Business Council which has an open discussion on the needs and opportunities for small business in our own area. The first meeting on the 17th was a rousing success. John has also been the impetus for our BIG READ which has inspired The Friends of MPL and two other libraries in many ways. There was an article in this month’s Chamber of Commerce news letter which mentions not only the project, but also our library’s intent to read and celebrate “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan.

All of the above are reasons for celebration. The expansion of history and the needs of local people are intensively important in ANY given community. It IS a time of hope and the value system of our community has long been established. How honored we are to live here, and participate in its integral wavelength.

Carol Elaine Deys, Trustee – MPL, recording for The Community at large.

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News article: Where it stands: Farmington Quaker meetinghouse

Judy Wellman and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation are still pushing forward in hopes that one day, the historic Farmington Quaker meetinghouse on County Road 8 in Farmington will be restored, preserved and moved across the street. Slowly and steadily, progress is being made, but Wellman, chairman of the steering committee devoted to completing the project, said the group still has a long way to go.

Read the Full News article: Where it stands: Farmington Quaker meetinghouse

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Public Lands Management Act Signed by President Obama

Please see information about the passage of the Public Lands Management Act.

This included the National Women’s Rights History Project Act, which will help identify women’s rights historic sites all over the country and will also set up a women’s rights history trail through New York State, to be administered by Women’s Rights National Historical Park. We hope this will include the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, along with the Anthony House, Seneca Falls sites, Tubman Home, Gage Home, and many, many others!

Thanks so much to all our congressional representatives who supported this, especially to Louise Slaughter (who introduced this bill into the House) and Hillary Clinton (who introduced it in the Senate). Also thanks to all of you who wrote or called your representatives. We are so grateful!

Best, Judy

Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.

Read about the passage of the Public Lands Management Act.

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Letter from Genesee Meeting of Friends printed in National Anti-Slavery Review Aug. 21, 1845

Hello Friends–In case you do not already have this 1845 letter from Friends of Genesee Yearly Meeting, I pass it on. Charles Lenhart discovered and transcribed this from the National Anti-Slavery Standard. It gives a sense of the developing rift within this meeting between the quietists, who valued peace and right order (including respect for ministers and elders) and those committed to abolitionism and working “with the world’s people.” Thank you, Charles!

National Anti-Slavery Standard Aug 21, 1845

Friends of Genesee Yearly Meeting

“From a called meeting of Friends of Genesee Yearly Meeting, convened in the meeting-house at Farmington, in the State of New-York – Epistle to Green Plain Quarterly Meeting and such other branches of Indiana Yearly Meeting, as are under proscription on account of faithfulness in the maintenance of our testimony on the subject of slavery.

DEAR FRIENDS, – Being together on occasion of attending our Yearly Meeting, and having the company of our beloved friends, Joseph A. Dugdale and wife, and having had also presented to the meeting an epistle from you, our minds have been introduced into near sympathy with you in the circumstance of trial which attend you. And as sufficient unity has not been prevalent in this Yearly Meeting, to hear and respond to your epistle in a meeting capacity, we feel our minds engaged to address you in this way, if haply the mutual love of you and us may minister to each other’s consolation and encouragement.

We have noticed with concern, within several years past, the progress of a spirit in our religious society calculated to sever the bonds of unity and brotherly affection. And in its results, unless by the interpositions of Divine favor, arrested, to bring about a renewal of the painful scenes of 1827 and ’28, which rent into incongruous fragments those social organizations by which before we were formally recognized as one people. The former difficulty had reference to conflicting views on doctrinal subjects; the present regards, as the ground of its complaint and dissatisfaction, the action of brethren and sisters in works of benevolence – their conscientious efforts, by the power of truth and love, peacefully to break the fetters of slavery from the bodies and minds of fellow-beings who are the victims of wrong and cruelty. Thus a curb is attempted to be put to the very springs of those beneficent offices by which a common Father has designed his children should minister to each other’s joy, and this, too, astonishing as is the fact, by those who professionally acknowledge that our testimony against slavery is among the most important that have been given the society to bear. Continue reading

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Truman-Underhill photographic albums digitized

View the digitized Truman-Underhill collection.
Visit the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College website.

Celia Caust-Ellenbogen (Swarthmore College ’09) has digitized the entire collection of Truman-Underhill photographic albums in the collections of Friends Historical Library.*

The Truman and Underhill families were prominent Philadelphia-area Quaker families with close ties to Swarthmore College and active in social concerns. Best known is George Truman (1798-1877), Quaker merchant and doctor and a recognized minister who visited Indians in the American West and former Quaker settlements in the West Indies. He was one of the founders of Swarthmore College.*

George Truman was the maternal grandfather of Benjamin Mott Underhill (1863-1930), who, along with his wife Georgia Cook Myers Underhill (1877-1926), attended Swarthmore College. Benjamin Underhill graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1895, and from 1908 until his death was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was active in the Delaware County Institute of Science and in Providence Friends Meeting in Media, Pennsylvania.*

View the digitized Truman-Underhill collection.
Visit the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College website.

*Content courtesy of Swarthmore College and the Swarthmore Friends Historical Library websites.

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