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Quaker Studies

Abstract

In the 1840s and 1850s, North American Friends endured a series of localized separations. This paper examines the Progressive Friends separations in Genesee Yearly Meeting in 1848, centered in the 'burned-over district' of New York State, and in Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) in 1852-53. Both separations had roots in the controversy among Friends over appropriate anti-slavery activities and both challenged the existing structures of the Religious Society of Friends. These separations were both radical and rural, and mark a distinct change from the earlier deference of Friends towards the leadership of London and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings.

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