“At our preparative Meeting of Pelham the 29th of the 5th Mo. 1811

            This Meeting was Inform,d that Benjamin Birdsall is Living in the Neglect of Attending meetings  Appears out of plainness both in Dress and Address and making use of the Vain Compliments of the World & that he is Concernd in the Distillation of Grain also that he has Reciev,d A tract of Land of land from Government under the Appelation of UE.  his Case is ordered up to Monthly Meeting.”

    Many members of CFHA will be familiar with Randy Saylor as the CFHA webmaster and coordinator of minute book and other document transcriptions for CFHA and more recently the CYM Archives. Fewer will be aware that Randy has served as coordinator for almost 15 years. As a result, he has become one of the most knowledgeable and well-informed individuals on the records of concerns and issues addressed in the early Quaker settlements in what would become Canada. We are delighted to have Randy provide the keynote presentation, and to invite you to an interesting and informative evening.

    Discussion about the existence of ‘Quaker loyalists’ among the historical community has at times been contentious. Some have suggested that it was not possible for individuals to conform to Quaker principles while also availing themselves of the benefits conveyed by an official United Empire (UE) designation.

    The details of many pages of minute book transcriptions have allowed Randy to bring forward some clarity on this apparently uniquely Canadian Quaker issue.  His research has so far identified 6 instances where early meetings recorded their efforts to discern a response. Since publishing a short account of his findings in Trailways, the newsletter of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, other readers have identified two more ‘Quaker Loyalists’.

    Then, as now, Quaker individuals and communities were required to address the outcomes of competing interests, dangers and opportunities in a fast-changing North American political and social world. This will be an interesting evening with Randy, and an opportunity to explore with him an important element of the Canadian Quaker legacy. 

Space and meal availability are limited. Please register as soon as possible. For additional information please contact June Pollard secretary@cfha.info .


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