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Quaker Studies

Abstract

The economic depression in Norway in the mid- 1880s led to the virtual bankruptcy of two of the key members of the Stavanger Meeting at a time when there was also a crisis of leadership following the death of Endre Dahl for so long the leader of the Quaker group there. A small group of English Friends led by Walter Morris (later, Morice) made an appeal for funds so as to be able to make commercial loans and thus ease the situation for Carl Nyman and Peter Fugilie who had by now made arrangements with their creditors. But just as Endre Dahl's will took a long time to settle, so also did the repayment of these loans. There are certainly cultural misunderstandings and difficulties in legal yrocedures involved, but there is also the rising suspicion o deliberate deception. During the same period, Norwegian Friends had begun to question Peter Fugilie's management (or mismanagement) of the Meeting's financial affairs and Thorstein Bryne emerged to challenge ·and then to replace him as leader. It took the death of Carl Nyman and independent action on the part of the creditors of Peter Fugilie to achieve the eventual return of the loans plus interest. These events and experiences gave rise to a much more circumspect attitude on the part of English Friends. By the end of the century, by accident or design, they had begun to distance themselves from Norwegian Quakers and American Friends had begun to 'fill the gap', so to speak.

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