Canadian Friends Historical Association (CFHA) is pleased to announce the latest collaboration with Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. Arrangements are now in place for staff at Friends Historical Library to provide CFHA with digital images of three late eighteenth-century minute books for transcription. All of these minute books relate to the Nine Partners Monthly Meeting and its affiliated Oswego Preparative Meeting. The Nine Partners MM, the Nine Partners school and associated Preparative meetings figure prominently in the northward expansion of Quaker communities up the Hudson River Valley. Such expansions frequently involved the relocation of members of the established meetings to the more remote areas of new settlement. The minute books of Nine Partners and associated meetings provide valuable records of the members who requested certificates of removal and when such requests were submitted and approved.

Of particular interest to CFHA members and Canadian researchers are records which relate to the Adolphustown Preparative Meeting in Upper Canada. This meeting was established under the care of Nine Partners MM in 1798 under the leadership of Philip Dorland. Although birthright members of Nine Partners MM, both Philip and his brother Thomas had served in provincial militia on behalf of the British during the revolutionary war. As such, they were entitled to claim extensive land grants in Upper Canada when they and their families joined many other UE Loyalists who settled the Adolphustown area in 1784.

The new images to be provided will include the first minute book of the Men’s Monthly Meeting. This minute book covers the period between the establishment of the monthly meeting in 1769 to 1779. It is hoped that transcription of this minute book will add detail to a significant event in the early Quaker experience of Philip Dorland. A number of years ago, CFHA requested and received images of the Nine Partners Men’s Monthly Meeting from 1779 onwards. The specific request was granted on the premise that earlier records would not contain information related to migrants into what would become Canada. It came as a great surprise, then, to discover that the minutes for 1773 recorded the disownment of a late adolescent Philip Dorland.

Nine Partners Meeting House, built in 1780. Photo taken in 2010 by Daniel Case.

Once settled in Upper Canada in 1784, Philip Dorland played an important role in the early political life of the young community, and in the establishment of what would become a flourishing Quaker presence at Adolphustown and in Prince Edward County. For a larger account of this history, please see “New Light on Philip Dorland: Prodigal Son to Patriarch” by Gordon Thompson with Randy Saylor in Canadian Quaker History Journal volume 79, for membership year 2014. We look forward with anticipation to learn what this new set of images will reveal about Philip Dorland’s disownment.

In addition to the Nine Partners MM Men and Joint, 1769-1779 images, we look forward to receiving images of Oswego Prep Mens, 1794-1798 and those of a Bulls Head, Oswego MM Women’s minutes 1799-1817.

We wish to express our appreciation to Jordan Landes, curator of Friends Historical Library, and her staff in providing these images. Due to Covid 19 lockdowns and closures, we are unable to access additional images at either the Archives of Ontario or the Canadian Yearly Meeting Archives. The new images will provide hundreds of pages of transcription resource material.

New volunteer CFHA transcribers are always welcome. The work is not hard and is performed at your own pace and convenience. Guidance and advice is provided when needed. Please contact the writer at [email protected] for additional details if interested.


Leave a Reply