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Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends records

Identifier: QM-PaPr

Scope and Contents

Records of the Longwood Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, 1851-1941. Includes minutes 1853-1862, 1892-1916, Representative Committee Minutes 1892-1904, Records of Disownments from Kennett Monthly Meeting, 1851-1892, 1925, Minutes of Kennett Monthly Meeting c.1851- c.1874, Financial Association Minutes 1892-1914, 1924, Financial records 1870-1937, Histories and clippings 1856-1941, Hymnals and printed hymn leaflets 1864-1869, 1919-1922, Bible 1853, miscellaneous records 1885-1940.


  • Creation: 1851 - 1941


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Biographical / Historical

Opened at Old Kennett, Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1853 as a separation from meetings in the Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite). Progressive Friends were part of a reform movement which developed among Hicksite Friends in the 1840s, but also included many non-Quaker liberals and radicals. The largest group became formally organized as the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, which met at Longwood in Chester County, Pennsylvania, from 1853 to 1940. Progressive Friends advocated a religion of humanity which stressed the inherent goodness and perfectibility of humankind and promoted such reform causes as abolition of slavery, temperance, women's rights, opposition to capital punishment, prison reform, homestead legislation, pacifism, Indian rights, economic regulation, and practical and co-educational schooling. A similar group organized in Waterloo, N.Y. as the Yearly Meeting of Congregational Friends.


1 linear ft. (2 boxes and 2 loose volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection includes the minutes of the Longwood Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, as well as records of its Financial Association and its Representative Committee. Also included are some minutes of Kennett Monthly Meeting, from which the Longwood meeting split off beginning in the 1840s. There are detailed records of this split, including lists of the members who were disowned from Kennett Monthly Meeting for associating under the name “Progressive Friends.” Minutes and letters written during this period, as well as later narrative accounts written by members, provide futher information about this split. The collection also includes many histories of the meeting, written and presented by members on the occasion of the final Yearly Meeting, which was held in 1940. A range of miscellaneous records, such as the Bible and hymnals used by the Yearly Meeting, are also included in the collection.

Physical Location

This collection is stored at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.

Related Materials

See also printed proceedings in SG2.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and a finding aid produced in 2020, based on an earlier preliminary inventory.

Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends records
FHL staff
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Quaker Meeting Records at Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library