Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label Purchase Monthly Meeting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Purchase Monthly Meeting. Show all posts

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paul Went Frollicking and to Places of Diversion in 1780

I wrote about Paul Dakin (1761 in Pawling NY - 1829 in Hudson NY) going frollicking and visiting places of diversion which led to his disownment from the Friends Meeting at Oblong New York in 1780 at the age of 19.  

Oblong Monthly Meeting Men’s Minutes 1757 -1781, Box NY - 105 Page 519 Paul Dakin Acknowledgement, 18th day 10th month 1780
The acknowledgements of Paul Dakin Ferris Doly Daniel Akin & James Akin Condeming their going to frollicks and Places of Diversion Is Left for the Consideration of Next Mo Meeting
Oblong Monthly Meeting Men’s Minutes 1781 - 1788 Box NY - 105 pages 50, 51, Paul Dakin Disowned, 15th day 11th month 1780
 One of the Friends appointed on Paul Dakins account Report that he has answered his appointment and as there to Nothing appears to alter Conclusion of Last Meeting Concerning him there after Due Consideration this Meeting Doth Testifie against his Mis Conduct and Disownes him from Being any Longer a Member of our Society untill he by his Conduct Manifest Sincere Repentance and amendment of Life and Make Satisfaction to this Meeting which that he may to own Desire and Testification being prepared against him was Read approved and Signed and the following Friends are appointed to give him a copy of his Denial if he Desires it and acquaint him of his Rite to an appeal and if he Shews No Intention of appealing Read it at the Close of a first Day Meeting at at Oblong and Report at Next Meeting That is Wing  Killey & Benjamin Ferris Jr ------------


At the time that I wrote that blog post, I could only imagine what frollicking and places of diversion actually were.  I have found a description for anyone who would like to know what Paul had done to get himself disowned by the Quakers.

From Quaker Hill A Sociological Study by Warrren H Wilson (New York, 1907), p.29:

The Meeting not only provided no play opportunities, but
it forbade the attendance of its members upon the "frollicks,"
which then were held, as nowadays they are are held, in the 
country side.  A gathering with plenty to eat, and in those
days a free indulgence in drink on the part of the men, with
music of the fiddler, and dancing, this was a "frollick" --that
horror of the meeting house elders.  Indeed, it was of inci-
dental moral detriment; for it was outlawed amusement, and
being under the ban, was controlled by men beyond the influ-
ence or control of the meeting.  The young people of the
Quaker families, and sometimes their elders, yielded to the
fascinations of these gatherings.  The unwonted excitement
of meeting, the sound of music, playing upon the capacity for
motor reactions in a people living and laboring outdoors, in-
flamed beyond control by rum and hard cider, soon led to 
lively, impulsive activities and physical exertions, both in 
immoderate excess and in disregard of all the inhabitions of
tradition and of conscience.  That there was a close relation of
these "frollicks" with sexual immorality of the period is

Now that we know what was involved in frollicking, just a reminder that the Quakers in the 18th century in the Oblong were not the ones with folks singing hymns in their church.  Their meetings for worship were silent unless someone was led to speak.  Singing and dancing, in and out of church, was frowned upon.

The Quakers were trying to "live apart" from the larger world community in a tightly knit community of their own.  However, in the neighborhood, were other settlers who were not Quakers.  The description of the challenges of holding a Quarterly Meeting [4 times a year, meetings in the same area met for worship and business] with Friends from a variety of meetings.  

An account is given elsewhere of the discipline of the
Meeting in its struggle against immorality and "frollicking."
The following quotation from James Woods' "The Purchase
Meeting," vividly depicts the confused elements of the social 
life of that time:  "On great occasions such as the holding
of a Quarterly Meeting, the population turned out en masse.
[Warren, p.28]

The population who turned out en masse are not the Quakers,
but rather the other residents of the Oblong, or in the case quoted above, Purchase meeting, who had no church restrictions on the various forms of amusement described below.

Piety and worldliness both observed the day.  The latter class 
gathered about the meeting house, had wrestling matches and 
various athletic sports in the neighboring fields, and horse
races on the adjacent roads.  The meetings regularly ap-
pointed committees as a police force to keep order among the
meeting  house during the time of worship and business."
[Warren, p. 28]

That was the Quakers' description of the temptations and distractions.  It was also confirmed by those "worldly" folks in the neighborhood:

The stories told by old Quaker Hill residents of the gather-
ings about the meeting house, even on First Day, or Sunday,
confirm the above quotation.  The field opposite the meeting
house, for  years after 1769, when the earliest meeting house
was moved away ...
... An old resident tells
me that crowds of men were always about the meeting  house
before and after meeting, and even during meeting, ...
[Warren, p. 28]

The Quakers might have been trying to live a life of piety and asceticism "separate from the world", but the temptations of the world were nearby and my GGG'grandfather, Paul Dakin succomed to them and as a result was disowned.

The link for this website is
© Erica Dakin Voolich, 2012.