Green Street Monthly Meeting Records
Scope and Contents
Records of Green Street Monthly Meeting, 1775-2018, including its many subordinate meetings and organizations. Green Street has a long history in Philadelphia, with members widely dispersed across the city. Past clerks retained original disciplinary transmittals which help tell the story of Quaker moral enforcement in the 1810s-1830s. There are also small files of material related to sufferings due to military fines, conscientious objectors in the Vietnam era, and Quaker military service in various capacities during World War II. Material related to redlining and white flight is an undercurrent throughout the collection with tensions especially present in the Fair Hill series.
Includes: vital records (1775-2013) across the breadth of the meeting's history (including some vital records held by the meeting of Frankford and Germantown Preparative Meetings and Fair Hill Worship Group); men's and joint session minutes, including several files of former clerks (1816-2009); women's minutes (1816-1904); and minutes of the Meeting on Worship and Ministry and of its predecessors, the Meeting of Ministers and Elders and the Meeting of Ministry and Counsel (1816-1976).
There is a substantial accounting in Series IV (1811-2016) of the finance and properties owned or under care of Green Street, including its various Preparative Meetings and Worship Groups, much material relating to the Fair Hill Meeting House and Burial Ground, and documentation of rents, expansions, sales, etc. across Green Street's portfolio. Green Street's many financial interests are managed by Trustees, and those files were kept separately from that of the meeting treasurer. There is much material related to the Anna Jeanes Cremation Fund (now managed by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) and the many bequests left to Green Street and its subordinates. The expansion of Greene Street Friends School is also partly addressed in this series where files were maintained by Trustees.
Series VI, Committee Records (1819-2015) include both the commitee's own records (in the case of Education or Property) but also records maintained by the monthly meeting of miscellaneous reports of its committees during the Meeting for Business. The earliest records include the Joint Committees of Philadelphia's various monthly meetings (and post-1828, that of Philadelphia's Hicksite monthly meetings).
Series VII includes records of Fair Hill Indulged Meeting and Fair Hill Burial Ground (1853-1993). There is a separate collection at Swarthmore for Fair Hill, but the material in this series, deposited by Green Street Monthly Meeting, have remained with the meeting records. Of particular note is the material related to the attempted sales of Fair Hill in the late 20th century and a late-19th century register of lot certificates.
Significant records are present from Frankford Meeting (1834-1999), which ultimately became Unity Montly Meeting, having been collected by former clerk Walter Longstreth in the 1930s-1960s. Less comprehensive material also covers Germantown Preparative and Girard Indulged Meetings.
Greene Street Friends School (1863-2010) physical plant, which remains under care of Green Street Monthly Meeting, is very well-documented through the 1960s-2000s. Additional materials related to property purchases and expansion plans are in Series IV.
Miscellaneous material (1817-2015) includes historical material, correspondence, meeting records related to specific issues or concerns, and newsletters.
- 1689 - 2016
- Green Street Monthly Meeting of Friends (Philadelphia, Pa.) (Organization)
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Collection is open for research. Access may be provided via digital or microfilm copy, per repository policy.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to the Repositories All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the individual Meeting or its successor. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Repositories as the holder(s) of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
Green Street Monthly Meeting of Friends was established in 1816 by Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting out of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Northern District. Its original location of the Green Street meeting house was at 4th and Green Streets in Philadelphia. In 1827, at the time of the Hicksite separation in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the meeting remained with Hicksite Friends. Orthodox Friends were transferred to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Northern District.
Green Street Monthly Meeting left the Green Street meeting house in 1913 and circulated between the meeting houses at Girard Avenue and Germantown. By 1917, the monthly meeting was held entirely at Germantown. Green Street Monthly Meeting reunited with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) in 1955 and is currently active. Greene Street Friends School's history dates to the 1855 creation of a School Committee by Hicksite Quakers in Germantown. The school expanded several times through the years. It remains under the oversight of Green Street Monthly Meeting.
Fair Hill Indulged Meeting (also called Fair Hill Worship Group) was at the site of Fair Hill Meeting House, which traces meeting for worship back to 1703. The property came under the care of Green Street in 1818 but meeting for worship was not regularly held until 1882. In the early 20th century Fair Hill had a very active First Day School, attracting many neighborhood attenders who were not Quakers. Meeting attendance declined through the 1960s and the meeting was discontinued in 1972.
Fair Hill Burial Ground was established on land bequeathed by George Fox in 1690, although property ownership was tangled for the first several decades. The land came under care of Green Street Monthly Meeting in 1818 and while interments had happened previously it was not then regularly used for burials. The Burial Ground was established around 1830 for the three Hicksite monthly meetings in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Spruce Street, and Green Street). For a time, a joint committee of the Hicksite monthly meetings managed the burial ground. In the 20th century, the redlining of Fairhill caused disinvestment in the area; Green Street and Fair Hill trustees made several attempts to re-purpose or sell Fair Hill Burial Ground, finally selling in 1985 to Ephesians Baptist Church. Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting bought the property back in 1993, the same year Historic Fair Hill, a community non-profit , was incorporated (under the name Fair Hill Burial Ground).
Frankford Preparative Meeting (also known as "Frankford Friends Meeting, Waln Street," "Frankford Indulged Meeting," and "Frankford Particular Meeting") was under care of Green Street Monthly Meeting from 1827 through 1999, when it became a monthly meeting under the name "Unity Monthly Meeting, Frankford."
Germantown Preparative Meeting (Hicksite) was established in 1877 but discontinued after Green Street Monthly Meeting removed to the area in 1914. The meeting at Germantown included an active group of members, the Germantown Friends Association, in the early 20th century. Germantown Friends Association was primarily a social group, and it was established during the Preparative Meeting and continued after Green Street's business meeting removed to the School Lane Meeting House.
Girard Avenue Indulged Meeting was set up by Greene Street in 1859 for Quakers in northwest Philadelphia. After Green Street left its original location at 4th and Green in 1913, the Girard Avenue Meeting House was used for Green Street's monthly meeting for business on a bimonthly basis between 1914 and 1917, when it permanently removed to Germantown. There was a school held there, first at the meetinghouse and then in a dedicated building, between 1872 and 1923. After years of declining attendence at meeting for worship, the indulged meeting was discontinued in 1934 and the property was sold in 1941.
30 Linear Feet (19 document cases, 2 record cartons, 2 flat mss boxes, bound volumes, 4 oversize folders)
Records of Green Street Monthly Meeting (1775-2016) and its assorted subordinate meetings and organizations, including Greene Street Friends School and Fair Hill Meeting House and Burial Ground.
This collection is stored at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Green Street Monthly Meeting of Friends (Philadelphia, Pa.) (Organization)
- Germantown Preparative Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : 1877-1914) (Organization)
- Frankford Preparative Meeting (Society of Friends : 1805-1827) (Organization)
- Frankford Preparative Meeting of Friends (Hicksite) (Organization)
- Green Street Monthly Meeting of Friends (Philadelphia, Pa.). Fair Hill Friends' Meeting (Organization)
- Green Street Monthly Meeting of Friends (Philadelphia, Pa.). Girard Avenue Indulged Meeting (Organization)
- Green Street Monthly Meeting Records
- 2011 revised 2022
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
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 reproductions from Quaker Meeting Records at Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library