The collection consists primarily of the journals of Joseph Brinton, his correspondence, and that of his wives, Mary H. and Anna H. Brinton. Although the latter spans the entire period, the bulk is from two time periods, 1857-68 and from the later 1880's to about 1900.
Joseph's journals document his experiences and religious philosophy. The earlier books, 1848-49 and 1849-50, focus on his early time at Westtown and other local schools, including a detailed chart of hours spent in sleep, study, and "idleness." The 1850-56 manuscript includes his daily bible readings. The later journals are rich in details of the Wilburite separations, with comments on personalities, events, and justification of his own actions. There are in-depth accounts of the General Meetings of Primitive Friends at Fallsington and Baltimore, including description of meetings for worship. The last journal, 1878-1916, relates contemporary events but also includes Joseph's reflections on the earlier events in his life.
Of particular interest in Series 2 is the communication between Joseph and other Wilburite Friends in New England in the 1850's and 1860's. This correspondence stops after Joseph's disownment in 1867 from Nantucket Monthly Meeting (Conservative). The year before Joseph himself was disowned two "dear Friends," Thomas Lamborn, a Wilburite minister from Poplar Ridge, and James Kite from Fallsington (Primitive), were also disowned. Joseph W. Maule and a portion of Ohio General Meeting ceased communication with Fallsington, Poplar Ridge, New England, and Nottingham as many of the Wilburite groups splintered. Joseph Brinton continued to hold a meeting for worship in his own home for family and friends.
Letters written between 1882 and 1884 from George Pollard and David C. Henderson, both of Norwich Monthly Meeting in Canada, describe some of the difficulties of Canadian Friends during this period.
There is a particularly long series of letters from Jacob Dingee, Jr. Dingee was granted a certificate from New Garden Monthly Meeting in Pennsylvania to Linn Monthly Meeting in Iowa in 1857. While there, he had particularly public marital problems, culminating in a letter from his Quaker neighbors to Joseph Brinton documenting his side of the dispute. By 1876 he was back in Pennsylvania where he was disowned in 1877 for "getting divorced from his wife; also marrying her again in a manner not according to our discipline; and is lately separated from her again; and has contracted debts."
Series 3 contains documents which relate to the Wilburite struggle, primarily in New England. Letters and other writings were contained in two envelopes marked "Letters of T.B.Gould" and "New England Friends - John Wilbur etc." In the 4th series, Charles Brinton's Creamer account book includes detailed information on the residents of the area around Ercildoun: births & deaths, schooling, and data about employment and land ownership.
Organization: Arranged into series: 1. Journals; 2. Correspondence; 3. Other Writings; 4. Financial records; 5. Miscellaneous.
Copyright and Rights Information
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