Pasquotank Co. Homepage

Society of Friends, also called Quakers

1695 - 1696                 Quaker John Archdale served as Governor of the Colony of North Carolina.

1698 - 1786                 North Carolina Yearly Meeting held first at Francis Toms' home, and then at Old Neck and Little River Meetings
                                 of Perquimans Monthly Meeting, Perquimans County.  These meetings would have included some Pasquotank residents.
                                 The monthly meeting would encompass smaller preparatory meetings in the surrounding area.

There is no record to indicate that Friends visiting in southeast Virginia may have crossed into the northeastern part of the colony of Carolina, called "Albemarle," in the years from 1656 to 1665.  The earliest documentation of Carolina Quakerism occurs in the Journal of William Edmundson, supported shortly afterward by that of George Fox.  Fox confirmed the date of Edmundson's first visit as April 1672, when the latter met in the home of Henry Phillips, of whom he had apparently already heard.  Phillips had become a Friend in Massachusetts and moved to Albemarle, where he had not seen a Friend for seven years, Edmundson reported.  It is on the basis of this statement that historians have regarded 1665 as the date for the coming of Friends to the Carolinas....

Going first to New England early in 1672, Fox joined with Edmundson for a visit of 18 days in Carolina, beginning on November 21.  Edmundson's description of this first Quaker meeting is a vivid reminder of the difficult beginning of Carolina Quakerism.  Henry Phillips and his wife:

... had been convinced of the Truth in New England, and came there to live, who having not seen a Friend for seven years before, they wept for joy to see us; yet it being on a First day morning when we got there, I was weary and faint, and my cloths all wet.  I desire them to send to the people there-away to come to a meeting about the middle of the day, and I would lye down upon a bed, and if I slept too long, that they should awake me.  Now about the hour appointed many people came, but they had little or no religion, for they came, and sat down in the meeting smoking their pipes; but in a little time, the Lord's testimony arose in the authority of His power, and their hearts being reached with it, several of them were tendered, and received the testimony.  After meeting they desire me to stay with them, and let them have more meetings....

Thus began the first organized religion in the Carolinas.  The Society grew in the Albemarle area, centering from Hertford through Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, eventually expanding along the coast west and southwest into Northampton, Edgecombe, Beaufort, Hyde, Lenoir, Wayne, Carteret, and Bladen counties.  The proprietors and their official representatives reflected the traditional views of the established Church of England, but there is no record of any attempt by Anglicans or others to organize a religious body during this period.

... according to Stephen B. Weeks, the ablest and most adequate of all the historians of Southern Quakerism, about 13 meetings had been established in the years from 1665 to 1750; in North Carolina -- Little River, Symon's Creek, Core Sound, Carver's Creek, Bath, Dunn's Creek, Contentnea, Falling Creek, and possibly Narrows and Newbegun Creek; in South Carolina -- Charleston, Wateree (possibly the same as Fredericksburg), and possibly Edisto.

quoted from Friends in the Carolinas, by J. Floyd Moore; North Carolina Friends Historical Society, Greensboro NC, 1997; pp. 9, 15, 19-20, 22.

Resources

Friends Historical Collection at Guilford College

Quaker History

Colonial Quakers

An Account of the Suffering of Friends of North Carolina - Google Book

Guide to Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy

Southern Quakers and slavery: - Google Books

The Quaker Corner

RootsWeb: Genealogy Mailing Lists: QUAKER-ROOTS

Other Quaker mailing lists

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