A few weeks ago at the Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists, I connected with Kyle Jolliffe, a scholar who has written extensively for the CFHA. Part of the paper I gave at the conference discussed the Norwich Monthly Meeting and its progenitor, Peter Lossing (1761-1833). Kyle reached out to me to share his family history: he’s a direct descendant of Lossing through Lossing’s daughter Paulina Lossing Howard Southwick. His line continues through Paulina’s daughter Augusta Malvina Southwick Marshall, her daughter Janet Marshall Estabrook, to Kyle’s maternal grandmother Alice Lossing Estabrook Simpson, and then to Alice’s daughter and Kyle’s mother Pauline Jolliffe. Kyle has generously sent me a number of documents about the Norwich Friends he has inherited over the years from his mother. This series on Norwich Friends will highlight some of these documents and the stories of the Friends who created them.

In 1846, Hannah A. Lossing gave a pamphlet to her sister-in-law, Paulina Southwick. The pamphlet, titled On the Christian Doctrine of the Teaching of the Holy Spirit, as Held by the Society of Friends, was first printed in Baltimore in 1839 by Orthodox Friends. Both Hannah and Paulina were active in

First page of the Pamphlet Hannah A. Lossing gave to Paulina Lossing Southwick in 1846.

the Norwich Monthly Meeting (Orthodox), the only meeting in Upper Canada at the time that had a minority of Orthodox members after the 1828 Hicksite-Orthodox schism.

Hannah A. Lossing (1801-1854), née Cornell, married Benson Lossing (1799-1881) in 1819.[1] Their marriage was recorded in the Norwich Monthly Meeting Record Book, 1819-1842. Benson Lossing, the seventh child of Peter Lossing and Hannah Brill, was active on meeting committees and was often sent as a meeting representative. Similarly, Hannah was active in the women’s Norwich Monthly Meeting, and served over the years as clerk, was often on committees to visit families, and served as an overseer for many years beginning in 1839. In 1842, Hannah was appointed elder.[2]

Hannah Lossing was connected to Paulina Lossing Howard Southwick (1787-1864) through both family and the Norwich Meeting. Paulina Southwick, née Lossing, was the sister of Hannah’s husband Benson Lossing. According to family records, Paulina was widowed in 1810 soon after her first marriage in 1808 to Henry Howard. They had one daughter, Hannah Howard. It’s worth noting that their daughter Hannah Howard married Solomon Jennings in 1830 and was the mother of Emily H. Stowe, the first woman physician to practice in Canada.

After the death of her first husband, Paulina married George Southwick in 1815. Together, they had four children: Mary Ann, Henry, Caroline, and Augusta (1828-1904). Paulina also served as an overseer in the Norwich Monthly Meeting, and often was part of meeting committees and attended the Canada Half Years Meeting as a representative. Paulina and Hannah often served on committees together.

Where Hannah Lossing first received the pamphlet she gave to Paulina is unknown. Given her status within the Norwich Meeting, it’s likely she brought it back from a quarterly or yearly meeting.

The pamphlet contained a discussion about the inspiration of God through scripture, the doctrine of the Trinity, and a note about early Friends maintaining “that some measure of the light of the Spirit of God has been immediately granted to man ever since his fall” (5). The pamphlet went to great lengths to clarify doctrine on the Holy Spirit in particular and the doctrine of Atonement, an unsurprising feature given doctrinal differences that came to a head in the 1828 Hicksite-Orthodox schism.

Elias Hicks, an early leader in what would come to be called the Hicksite faction, was suspicious of the trend towards evangelicalism among North American Friends. In Thomas D. Hamm’s overview of Quakerism in the nineteenth century, he argues that Hicks “saw problems in biblicism that made the Bible the ultimate authority, rather than the Holy Spirit,” and to the Light Within.[3] This grappling with evangelical doctrine can be found in the pamphlet.

In Edwina Newman’s article, “John Brewin’s Tracts: The Written Word, Evangelicalism, and the Quaker way in mid Nineteenth Century England,” she briefly discusses this pamphlet and the stance on scripture expressed within, noting that it “argued that a belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible did not preclude ‘immediate revelation,’ but this only meant that the truths of the Bible could be transmitted directly to the soul, not that there was any message other than that of Scripture.”[4] This is clarified in the pamphlet where the author argues that early Friends believed in the “inward knowledge of Christ in all his gracious offices; not in opposition to the outward knowledge, but certainly in opposition to the resting in the outward knowledge” (9). Their ability to do good work came, the pamphlet claimed, through redemption in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit as “revealed in the Old and New Testament.”

The pamphlet itself has been passed down through generations matrilineally; Kyle Jolliffe holds the original copy. Kyle’s article on family memories of Norwich Quakers can be found in The Meetinghouse 2010-2, his story ‘Treasure from the Archives’ about the sudden death of Paulina Southwick’s husband can be read in The Canadian Friend 107 (2011): 5, and his study of the 1881 Canada Yearly Meeting separation can be found in the Canadian Quaker History Journal 52 (1992): 12-22 and in CFHA’s monograph, Faith, Friends and Fragmentation: Essays on Nineteenth Century Quakerism in Canada, edited by Albert Schrauwers. 

The entirety of the pamphlet is below.


[1] Not to be confused with American historian Benson Lossing (1813-1891), son of John Lossing. The two Bensons were cousins through their fathers.

[2] Norwich Monthly Women Meeting, 1828-1843, 9 February 1842.

[3] Thomas D. Hamm, “Hicksite, Orthodox, and Evangelical Quakerism, 1805-1887,” in The Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies, edited by Stephen W. Angell and Ben Pink Dandelion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

[4] Edwina Newman, “John Brewin’s Tracts: The Written Word, Evangelicalism, and the Quaker way in mid Nineteenth Century England,” Quaker Studies 9 (2005): 243.


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