The End of the Holy Experiment

James A. Quinn1

If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants. (attributed to William Penn)



West Jersey (about 1675) and Pennsylvania (1682) were founded as utopian societies. The Quaker founders believed that government by the Golden Rule2 is possible. This Holy Experiment was enormously successful for 80 years (1675-1755). Pennsylvania became the most populous and prosperous colony, though founded many years after New England, New York and Virginia. Pennsylvanians spread south to Maryland, the Great Valley of Virginia and the Piedmont of North Carolina and the utopian vision3 was carried with them. During the period 1675-1755 the Quaker religion grew and spread, and with it the democratic ideas of Pennsylvania spread throughout mid-Atlantic colonial America, particularly along the frontier4. The Quakers and their Pennsylvania allies were the main force for democratic change in America in the period before the French and Indian War. The peace and prosperity of the colony was noticed throughout America and if the French and Indian War had not broken out, this country would have been very different, both politically and morally.

The term Holy Experiment comes from this quote from Penn:

"For my country, I eyed the Lord, in obtaining it;

And more was I drawn inward to look to him;

And to owe it to his hand and power, than to any other way;

I have so obtained it, and desire to keep it;

That I may not be unworthy of his love;

But do that, which may answer his kind Providence;

And serve his truth and people;

That an example may be set up to the nations;

There may be room there, though not here,

For such an holy experiment."

Pennsylvania was more ethnically diverse than any other colony. Pennsylvania was the first colony founded by settlers from Great Britain that welcomed settlers of all denominations from continental Europe5. This policy made Pennsylvania an attractive destination for European immigrants from Ireland and Germany as well as Native Americans from colonies to the south. A founding principle of the colony was treatment of Indians with respect (1). The colonial government strove to maintain peaceful relations not only between European immigrants and Indians, but also between the various Indian tribes. After 80 years of peace, native tribes like the Leni-Lenape could hardly be described as war-like. Peace and prosperity was shared by both the settlers from Europe and the Indians. The fur trade was one of the most lucrative occupations in colonial America.

Penn's pledge to the Leni-Lenape:

Penn's first meeting with the Lenni-Lenape in 1682 in Philadelphia was described by John Watson (Annals of Philadelphia Vol.1, p. 55 [1830]): "The Indians as well as the whites, had severally prepared the best entertainment the place and circumstances could admit. William Penn made himself endeared to the Indians by his marked condescension and acquiescence to their wishes. He walked with them, sat with them on the ground, and ate with them of their roasted acorns and homony. At this they expressed their great delight, and soon began to show how they could hop and jump; at which exhibition, William Penn, to cap the climax, sprang up and beat them all! We are not prepared to credit such light gayety in a sage governor and religious chief; but we have the positive assertion of a woman of truth, who says she saw it. There may have been a very wise policiy in the measure as an act of conciliation, worth more than a regiment of sharpshooters. He was then sufficiently young for any agility and we remember that one of the old journalists among Friends incidentally speaks of him as having naturally an excess of levity of spirit for a grave minister."

Text of Penn's address to the Leni-Lenape led by the head man Taminend, 1682 (source: Quaker Biographies, Volume I, William Penn by Lucy B. Roberts, 1909, published by the forerunner of PYM)

"The Great Spirit rules in the Heavens and the Earth. He knows the innermost thoughts of men. He knows that we have come here with a hearty desire to live with you in peace. We use no hostile weapons against our enemies, good faith and good will towards men are our defenses. We believe you will deal kindly and justly by us, as we will deal kindly and justly by you. We meet on the broad pathway of good faith and good will; no advantage shall be taken on either side, but all shall be openness and love. I will not call you children, for parents sometimes chide their children too severely; nor brothers only, for brothers differ. The friendship between me and you I will not compare to a chain, for that the rains might rust, or the falling tree might break. We are the same as if one man's body were to be divided into two parts; we are all one flesh and blood.

We will be brethren, my people and your people, as the children of one father. All the paths shall be open to the Christian and the Indian. The doors of the Christian shall be open to the Indian, and the wigwam of the Indian shall be open to the Christian. The Christians shall believe no false stories; they shall first come together as brethren and inquire of each other; when they hear such false stories they shall bury them in the bottomless pit. The Christian hearing news that may hurt the Indian, or the Indian hearing news that may hurt the Christian, shall make it known the one to the other, as speedily as possible, as true friends and brethren. The Indian shall not hurt the Christian nor his friend; the Christian shall not harm the Indian nor his friend, but they shall live together as brethren. As there are wicked people in all Nations, if the Indian or the Christian shall harm the one or the other, complaint shall be made by the sufferer, that right may be done; and when right is done, the wrong shall be forgotten and buried in the bottomless pit. The Indian shall help the Christian and the Christian shall help the Indian against all men, who would molest them.

We will transmit this league between us to our children. It shall be made stronger and stronger, and be kept bright and clean, without rust or spot, between our children and our children's children, while the creeks and rivers run, and while the sun, moon and stars endure."

The Indians evidently felt the sincerity of Penn's speech and heartily gave the belt of wampum as a pledge of friendship. "We will live," they said, "in love with William Penn and his children as long as the moon and the stars shall endure." The wampum belt exists still and is the property now of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The pledge was not bound by any oath, nor by signatures or seals and the terms seem to be written no where but on the heart. It was the treaty that Voltaire said that was "the only treaty between those people and the Christians that was not ratified by an oath and was never infringed."   A description of the Lenni-Lenape in Penn's own words from 1683 can be found by clicking HERE.

Early Relationship between Europeans and Indians in Pennsylvania

A 20th century Quaker view of Quaker-Indian relations can be found in the following excerpts from Quaker Roots, a history of Western Quarter of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting published in 1980:

"The Indians who lived in the part of Pennsylvania of which William Penn became either proprietor or lessee (as in the case of the three counties which later became the state of Delaware) were a peaceful people known as the Lenni-Lenape. They were named the Delawares by the English-speaking settlers. Living in separate villages along the various small streams, they had by the time of Penn's arrival already suffered losses in numbers and territory at the hands of other more warlike Indians such as the Minquas from the Susquehannah and the Five Nations tribes of New York. They had also lost control of much of the area along the Delaware through a series of imperfectly understood transactions with the Dutch and Swedish settlers, because the European concept of ownership and sale of land was alien to their culture. Things changed with the arrival of William Penn and the new settlers from the British Isles.

Penn's famous letter to the Indians, translated and delivered to them by his commissioners before he himself reached the New World: "The great God that made thee and me, and all the world, incline our hearts to love peace and justice, that we may live friendly together as becomes the workmanship of the great God. The King of England, who is a great prince, hath, for divers reasons, granted me a large country in America, which, however, I am willing to enjoy upon friendly terms with thee; and this I will say, that the people who come with me are a just, plain and honest people, that neither make war upon others nor fear war from others, because they will be just. I have set up a society of traders in my province, to traffic with thee and thy people for your commodities, that you may be furnished with that which is good at reasonable rates; andthat society hath orderedtheir president to treat with thee about a future trade, and have joined with me to send this messenger to thee, with certain presents from us to testify to our willingness to have a fair correspondence with thee,and what this agent shall do in our names, we will agree unto. I hope thou wilt kindly receive him, and comply with his desires on our behalf, both with respect to land and trade. The great God be with thee. Amen. WILLIAM PENN. London 21st day of the 4th month, called June, 1682."

Nobody before Penn - Dutch, Swedish or English - had seen the Indian inhabitants of the new territories as having any rights in the land needing to be formally extinguished. In taking this position, Penn went against the concept held by the English monarchy; he insisted on purchase of land from the Indians before his settlers might occupy it. His treaties with them promised them the permanent use of some areas alongside the streams...William Penn's heirs did not share his belief in the sacredness of Indian rights, and in addition they favored the Five Nations. Since Iroquois and Delawares were enemies of long standing, the living conditions of the Delawares in the early eighteenth century grew more difficult and they gradually began the long-drawn-out movement westward which would eventually bring them to Oklahoma.

...Joseph Pennock, who built Primitive Hall in what was then the wilderness (now Chester county), made a practice of leaving all doors unlocked and food on the table. It was not uncommon for the family in the morning to find Indians asleep on the floor. Interracial relations were cordial and the Pennocks never lost any of their stock.

It should never be forgotten how much William Penn's first Quaker settlers owed to the Lenni-Lenape. Their first winter in the new country was spent by many of them living in caves, and depending on the Indians for food and fire..."

The End of the Holy Experiment - The French and Indian War:

The French and Indian War ended the Holy Experiment and is the main cause of the numerical decline of the Quaker denomination in America. This War was set off by a series of dominoes falling. Both the French and English claimed the land between the Blue Ridge and the Mississippi. The French began to set up forts in this territory and the English moved to oppose them. The Indians allied with the French threatened to wipe out the Leni-Lenape and the Shawnee if they did not support the French9. These tribes, allied with the English, at first refused, but after the British and Americans were driven out of the Ohio valley, they had little choice but to join on the side of the French or face their own destruction. They did have some grievances of their own with the white settlers on the frontier too that involved squatting on Indian land, questionable treaties (e.g. the Walking Purchase in 1737) and loss of game from over-hunting. When these former friends of Pennsylvania struck the western settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia (1755-1763), they killed hundreds, regardless of age and sex, routinely employing tortureBarr. It is a common misconception today that Indians were outgunned and routinely massacred by white settlers, as in the French and Indian war the numbers of colonists killed was greater than the number of Indians slain. The Indians also won almost every battle fought between them and the colonists for the next 60 years in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio including some of the worst defeats in US military history (Braddock's defeat, Sandusky, St. Clair's defeat). The only reason that the Indians did not prevail is that they were outnumbered on the frontier about 10 to 1 by 1775.

Quakers were in the majority in the Pennsylvania Assembly at the time of the outbreak of the French and Indian War and were divided in what to do. Some, like John Woolman were sympathetic to the Indians10 and refused to support or participate in the war. Others were in favor of supporting the settlements. The division led to the withdrawal of the Quakers from the Assembly in April of 1756 and their gradual removal from public affairs (they were defeated in the election of October 1756). In the period 1756-1763 the Quakers formed the "Friendly Association" partly to promote justice for treatment of Indians. This association acted as a mediator in Pennsylvania to end the French and Indian war in 1757 and 1758. But to non-Quakers, it appeared that they were completely incapable of leading in times of war and their government a failure in providing the most basic forms of security. After Pontiac's rebellion (1763) the influence of Quakers in Indian affairs in Pennsylvania was mostly over - at least until the final defeat of the Indians at Fallen Timbers in 1794.


As in most wars there were only losers. The effect upon the Quaker's Holy Experiment was catastrophic.

The idealized vision of liberty that Americans hold to this day is the enduring consequence of the Holy Experiment7. Those Americans who still believe in the utopian vision of a democratic and peaceful world are the heirs of the Holy Experiment. In the aftermath of September 11, these echoes of our past hold important lessons for us all.

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear." (1 John 4: 17-18).

"Force may make hypocrites, but it can make no converts." (William Penn, imprisoned in the Tower of London )

As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos. (Martin Luther King, 1956)


1) Disclaimer: The views expressed in this essay are the views of the author and are not the views of Gwynedd Friends Meeting or of Quakers in general. The author solicits improvements to this text. Contact me by e-mail here. William Penn: "Refuse not to be informed: For that shows Pride or Stupidity. Humility and Knowledge in poor clothes, excel Pride and Ignorance in costly attire. Neither despise, nor oppose, what thou dost not understand." In this spirit the author solicits advice and new learnings not disputes.

2) The Golden Rule has two variations: Mark 12:30 , Matthew 22:38 - You shall love your neighbor as yourself; Luke 6:31 - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

3a) American fundamental views of liberty are largely consequences of the religious views of the Quakers, Baptists and the German peace churches. True, they built on a British tradition that included trial by jury and prohibition of arbitrary seizure of property, but the Pennsylvania experiment extended democracy to a form that Americans invision as an ideal to this day. Besides settling early in southeast Pennsylvania , these denominations were among the first settlers west of the Blue Ridge , particularly in Virginia (1727-9) and North Carolina . These denominations were locally governed (no church hierarchy), did not require large sums of money to run and stressed a personal interaction with God instead of one mediated by the clergy. Both the Quakers and Baptists suffered political persecution in Great Britain with thousands imprisoned from the 1650s until the founding of Pennsylvania in 1682. From their experience came not only provisions for freedom of religion and speech, but some other principles. These included local control of government, separation of church and state, low taxes, pay as you go services ( Pennsylvania was not an early hot bed of public education), suspicion of strong government, and toleration for ethnic and cultural diversity. The unpopularity of the institution of slavery was evident from the founding of the colonyGermantown 1688, although the crown was financially involved in the trade (e.g. the Asiento of 1713) and protected the practice to some extent until the Revolution and prevented its abolition and restriction. The German sects supported the Quakers in these policies in colonial times as it gave them political control of their own communities. These views are still the views of rural Pennsylvania . Local control allows communities to rule by near-consensus. This political world-view is sometimes referred to as "Populism". The Quaker/Baptist views on liberty were to some extent absorbed by the later non-pacifist German and Scotch-Irish immigrants to Pennsylvania, but these groups tended to rely more on strong, wealthy or learned men for leadership and less on the inner light. The influence of the Indians on views of liberty and American thinking today is probably underestimated, as the interactions between the Indians and the settlers was much greater in mid-Atlantic colonial America than at other periods in our history, particularly on the frontier. In some ways their views of liberty were similar to Penn's, although their notions of self-discipline were not the near-Calvinist views of the Quakers. It was during this period that the Indians were romanticized by Rousseau and others as the "noble savage"

In the 20th century, Quakers in southeast Pennsylvania have merged these traditions with traditions that originated in New England . This is a consequence of a university education. New England was founded as a hybrid between theocracy and democracy and led by university educated people. It is no accident that higher education in America originated in New England . Pennsylvanians traditionally believe in rule by all the people, no matter how humble. The New England tradition is government by the best and brightest, elected by the people. In 1700, Pennsylvania 's form of government looked almost like anarchy (rule by the mob) to people in power in England or the would-be aristocrats of Virginia . Monarchy, aristocracy, corrupt civil servants, might is right (no equality under the law), and limited liberty were the norm in 1700 throughout most of the world.

Bancroft's 19th century history " United States " Vol 2, p. 337: "The rise of the people called Quakers is one of the memorable events in the history of man. It marks the moment when intellectual freedom was claimed unconditionally by the people as an inalienable birthright. To the masses in that age, all reflection on politics and morals presented itself under a theological form. The Quaker doctrine is philosophy summoned from the cloister, the college, and the saloon, and planted among the most despised of the people. The mind of George Fox had the highest systematic sagacity, and his doctrine, developed and rendered illustrious by Barclay and Penn, was distinguished by its simplicity and unity. The Quaker has but one word, the inner light, the voice of God in the soul. That light is a reality, and therefore in its freedom, the highest revelation of truth, it is kindred with the Spirit of God, and therefore merits dominion as the guide to virtue; it shines in every man's breast, and therefore joins the whole human race in the unity of equal rights. Intellectual freedom, the supremacy of mind, universal enfranchisement, -- these three points include the whole of Quakerism, as far as it belong to civil history." (as quoted in Janney's Life of William Penn)

This is not to say that all of Penn's frame of government comes out of his religious beliefs. Penn was trained as a lawyer and was familiar with the concepts of English liberty passed down from the Magna Carta on. He also was friends with John Locke and Algernon Sidney who were leading thinkers in Whig politics in England. In particular, Sidney's name is associated with radical democratic reform and Penn campaigned for his election to parliament.

Thomas Jefferson called Penn "the greatest law-giver the world has produced."

3b) After having written the above section, I have found that Quaker and Baptist views of liberty, radical for their time, were shared by the faction of Cromwell's New Model Army that were called the Levellers. The Levellers in 1647-9 proposed an English Constitution (Agreement of the People) that gave freedom of religion, freedom of speech, free trade, and one man one vote with regular elections. 1647, not conicidentally is also the start of the Quaker movement, and Penn and the Pennsylvania Assembly implemented almost the entire Leveller agenda in Pennsylvania in1683-1707. The Levellers were middle class (some education, were landed farmers, merchants, craftsmen or lawyers) - the same class of people who in Wales joined the Friends. It is also not a coincidence that Merioneth in Wales, the county that most converted to the Friends, was the one area of Wales where Parliament found its most support against the King. It also appears that some of the leadership of the Levellers joined the Quakers. Knowing this, explains why with the Restoration of the King in 1660, an act was almost immediately passed to ban and punish Quakers, and why they were persecuted so much. It also puts a different light on not removing one's hat or not saying the Oath of Allegience to the King. It is curious that this connection with the English Civil War is ignored by most Quaker Historians. The program of the Levellers was not implemented by Parliament, and they were to some degree suppressed when Cromwell took near dictatorial authority after the execution of King Charles I. Algernon Sydney, Penn's political mentor, served in the New Model Army, was a supporter of the Levellers, and went into exile during the administration of Cromwell and stayed away from England during the first part of the Restoration.

4) Many famous frontiersmen have Quaker roots like Daniel Boone (Berks Co., PA) and Ebenezer Zane ( West Jersey ). The families of the Boones and Zanes were engaged in some form with the Indian trade before leaving for the frontier. It is likely that Boone's settlement of Kentucky was partly instigated by the Cherokee who desired to place a buffer between themselves and the Shawnee who had been raiding their towns. Boone was probably naively confident that he could live in peace with the Shawnee , who were once fellow-Pennsylvanians. However, the part of Kentucky he moved to was one of the ancestral homes of the Shawnee , from whence the Iroquois had driven them in the mid-1600s. In his old age in Missouri , Boone was friendly with the Shawnee and acknowledged that injustices had been done to them.

Many descendants of the signers of the 1682-3 Pennsylvania Frame of Government can be found on the frontier of Virginia and North Carolina by the time of the Revolution including in the most remote mountainous regions of the southern Appalachians . Quaker conversions and political views were spreading even into the large slave owning areas of Virginia before the French and Indian War, with converted members of politically connected families attending meetings in Henrico , Hanover , and Bedford counties. Many of the views of Thomas Jefferson during the period of the Revolution seem to be sympathetic with populist Quaker political ideas. Jefferson was the author the Virginia statute for religious toleration, was a believer in local control of government and had a hand in writing the utopian Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1785 which forbade slavery. Slavery was not popular in the western regions of Virginia in the period just after the Revolution. Quakers cannot take all the credit for this of course. The vestry form of the Church of England practiced in Virginia also emphasized local control of the local parish and the powerful land owners of Virginia were quite protective of their right to control the local parish church. Separate Baptists and most Germans were unsympathetic to slavery as well.

5) Penn believed that freedom of religion was the foundation of all other freedoms. "No people can be truly happy, though under the greatest enjoyments of civil liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Conscience as to their Religious Profession and Worship" (Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties, 1701). Both the original frames of government of West Jersey and Pennsylvania have explicit provisions for liberty of conscience. Among the denominations settling in Pennsylvania before 1725 were [from Great Britain:] The Religious Society of Friends [Quakers] (1682), Baptist (1682), Presbyterian (which often included French Huguenot and Dutch Reformed as well as some Puritan immigrants from New England), Church of England, Roman Catholic, Jewish, [and from Germany and Switzerland:] Mennonite (1682), Church of the Brethren, Moravian Brethren, Lutheran, German Reformed and many smaller sects. Some Dutch and Swedish families predated the immigrants from Great Britain and Germany . The Religious Society of Friends contained members who emigrated from England , Wales , Scotland , Ireland and Holland .

6) Today, I don't believe most Quakers and Baptists realize how closely connected the two denominations were in colonial times. Most of the surviving discourse from colonial times are complaints about each other's religious views. However, the Quakers and Baptists co-migrated with each other to the south, Appalachia and midwest and are usually found mixed together in the same communities until the mid-1800s. Throughout the period 1675-1800 they were political allies with similar political views. The Baptists in Pennsylvania had a somewhat diverse origin. Quite a number of them had come to New Jersey from New England (particularly Connecticut and Rhode Island ) and Long Island . An additional large group of Baptists came to Pennsylvania from southern Wales . Finally, a number of Quakers converted to Baptists in the 1690s during the Keith schism. Some Keithian Baptists maintained the Quaker principles against war and slavery through the Revolution. Quakers continued to be converted to the Separate Baptists, especially on the frontier after 1755. The theological differences between Quakers and Baptists in the 18th century were (1) the authority of the spirit versus the authority of the Bible (2) women preaching (Quakers nurtured it) (3) the innate goodness of man versus his inherently sinful, depraved nature (4) being saved by living a life following Christ's footseps versus the vicarious atonement (saved in a moment of grace) (5) adult Baptism.

7) In a democracy, the frame of government and its laws flow from the religious and moral principles of the people. In a tyrannical government, religion flows from the political designs of tyrants. Religion in an authoritarian government is usually a tool used to enslave the people. There have been many forms of Christianity, Islam and other religions over the ages. All have evolved with and been molded by political power. The worldwide struggle to free religion of the influence of those who would use it to rule is part of the struggle of the people to free themselves and find God in their own way.

Consider these beliefs of the medieval Christian church:

These beliefs were still being used to command obedience to civil authorities in the eighteenth century outside of Pennsylvania. Here is an example on the web from 1771 in North Carolina ( ) that neatly contrasts a Quaker leader's use of religion to promote Pennsylvania style freedom and a response from an Anglican minister claiming God demands obedience to authority (in this case to the provincial Governor Tryon).

Today, none of these beliefs are those of mainstream Christians, although vestiges of these beliefs remain in some of the older denominations. This change in views is both the cause and effect of the emergence of western civilization from the dark ages. The technological advance that set the process of change in motion was the invention of the printing press. Coupled with the translation and printing of the Bibles into the languages used by everyday people, the people began to read the word of God for themselves and make up their own mind about what it is. The falling away of repressive religion was a necessary precondition for two other things which require free inquiry: democracy and experimental science, suppressed for a thousand years. Societies today which repress free inquiry are not only oppressive to the spirit, but also are breeding grounds for poverty and revolution. A lesson of this in the aftermath of 9/11 is that the challenge for the West is not to suppress people in Islamic countries but to help them free themselves. There will be no winners in violent conflict, the weaker side will just suffer more than the stronger side.

See Friends Early Use of the Bible for some further discussion of the evolution of Christian thought.

8) An interesting side note to history is the North Carolina Regulation of 1767-1771 which ended with the so-called Battle of Alamance (fought between two armies which probably did not want to fight each other). This movement, which was a fight for democracy, was largely Quaker-led (Herman Husbands, Rednap Howell were Quakers). On the eve of the Battle of Alamance, Husband refused to fight (he was a pacifist). Looking for a leader, the man chosen said, "Each man should be led according his own conscience." Although the man was not a Quaker, it sounds like the Quaker battle cry. Leaderless, the movement was crushed. Today, Americans often turn to strong leadership in the executive branch of government, rather than to their own conscience for leadership in insecure times. Insecurity is the enemy of democracy and the friend of tyrants. Husbands, who was an admirer of Benjamin Franklin, wrote essays favoring the American side in the Revolution from his hide-out in western Pennsylvania (he was outlawed after Alamance). He was arrested again after the Revolution for his participation in the Whiskey Rebellion and died going home from prison after being acquitted of sedition . Husbands always seemed aware of the presence of the loving light and he wrote his wife from prison on trial for his life, "Make yourself easy about me, for I am so rejoiced that at times, old as I am, I can scarcely keep from dancing and singing, for which I cannot account."

Probably the best known Quaker leader in southeast Pennsylvania during the Civil War was the abolitionist Lucretia Mott. Although she fought against slavery all her life, she opposed all wars (Quaker peace testimony) and refused to overtly support the Union side in the War Between the States. However, her nephew and son-in-law and many (probably most) of the young Quaker men in Abington Quarter volunteered for service in 1861 anyway (with the goal of ending slavery). In America , Quakers have been historically pacifists, but inconsistent ones. Where each man and each community decides according to their conscience, the result is not pre-ordained by history - each generation decides anew.

For the Quakers in colonial America , cults of leadership were never popular. In their vision of utopia everyone is led by God and every man and woman is potentially a minister and a leader as God calls them forth. This is not a call for anarchy though, as Quakers believed in the rule of Law and had a strict, almost puritanical belief in self-discipline.

9) The Indians making the threats against the Leni-Lenape and Shawnee prior to the French and Indian War demonstrated later that they were fully capable of carrying out their threats when they wiped out the Illinois Confederacy after the murder of Pontiac in 1769.  In fact, the French and Indian War can be said to have started in 1752 with a French and Indian raid on the Miami Indian village of Pickawillany .  The French Indian allies captured the head man Memeska, ate him, and razed the village.   The Ohio Indians were, by acts like these, driven into the French camp for self-preservation.

10) John Woolman, the famous Quaker minister, visited the Leni-Lenape in 1763 at the outbreak of Pontiac 's Rebellion. Here is his account of his visit.

11. One of the earliest violent incidents between the colonists and Indians in Pennsylvania occurred in 1728 in the area served by Gwynedd Monthly Meeting along the Skippack Creek, in what is now Montgomery County . Alarms had been spread of an impending Indian attack. Settlers congregated at Boone's Mill for safety. A petition was signed asking the Governor for help by the settlers living in Skippack and Providence townships (including John Jacobs, an overseer of New Providence Preparative, a branch of Gwynedd MM).The settlers heard a report that neighbor John Roberts' family was about to be attacked and sent some of the men to investigate. Walter and John Winter murdered most of a peaceful Indian family that lived in the neighborhood -- who they mistakenly thought were on the warpath. The Winter brothers were hung by the Quaker authorities for this incident (which kept the peace with the Lenni Lenape, who were impressed with this act of justice). Walter and John Winter were married to daughters of Morgan Herbert and were sons of Winter Jones, an early Welsh settler in the Welsh Tract.

The above may have been connected to the first major incident of "squatting" on Indian land in Pennsylvania. This had occurred just to the west of Exeter/Olney in the spring of 1723 when 15 families from Schoharie, New York moved their families to Tulpehocken, in the heart of the area inhabited by the Delaware and Shawnee (today the area between Reading and Harrisburg). They took lands without permission of the authorities and against the will of the Indians for the land had not yet been bought from them. The authorities in Philadelphia faced a serious problem because if they turned away the German settlers they would do an injustice to a people who had been invited there by Governor William Keith. The easiest thing to do was to exert strong pressure on the Indians to sell the lands. The aging "chief" Sassanoon, any diplomatic skill he had possessed befogged by rum, was ever willing to exchange lands for goods and drink, and did so by treaty on 7 September, 1732. (from The Delaware Indians: A History, by C. A. Weslager, 1972, Rutgers Univ. Press).

12. At there is a history of the Lenni-Lenape on-line. The pamphlet "William Penn and the Lenape Indians" by Willis M. Rivinus, self-published in 1995 at New Hope, PA was also consulted in making this page as was Weslager's history cited above.

13. The author believes that although the French and Indian War is the cause of the end of the "Holy Experiment", there is a second cause equally important in the decline in number of Friends in North America and perhaps elsewhere from the middle of the eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. Starting in the 1730s largely due to the preaching of men like George Whitefield and the Wesley brothers, a religious movement called the Great Awakening swept all of America. The Great Awakening was much in accord with the teaching of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, in one very important way: it stressed direct, joyful communion with God. Many Quakers were swept up in this movement which invigorated the Friends with a revitalized spirit. Non-Quakers, with no where else to turn chose the Quakers or Baptists, both which stressed the direct experience of the divine without need of intercession by priests or learned men. Later, about 1750, a reaction against "the ranting spirit" set in amongst Quakers to this movement and the Book of Discipline was introduced amongst Friends. This led to what has been termed a Quietist period among the Quakers who perhaps were less tolerant of people boisterously led by the Holy Spirit than previously. Perhaps Fox himself would have been disowned by some of these Friends. In Philadelphia Yearly Meeting between 1760 and 1776 about 4000 of the 13000 members of the Religious Society of Friends were disowned for various offenses against Quaker Discipline. This of course does not count the thousands who publicly repented and were not disowned. The joy, in short, was replaced with a type of asceticism enforced by a rigid code of behaviour. When the Methodists turned away from the Church of England after the Revolution, the "New Light" Friends had another path to choose, besides the Calvinist Baptists. The Quaker movement began to revive in the twentieth century when the "mysticism" - the direct communion of the spirit of man and woman with the spirit of God once again was emphasized. Today, although Quakers in northeast America are often considered a "liberal" sect, it is common for most people in a meeting to have had some amazing, direct experience with God very similar to the born again experience of evangelical Christians. In response to a question the author asked in a Sunday School class on how many had experienced the direct, joyful presence of God, 80% raised their hands.

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