The Mount Pleasant Affair

The Hicksite schism at its root was a discussion within the religious society of Friends on how to weigh past testimony and scripture against current ministry. The Orthodox placed a heavy emphasis on scripture and teachings of early friends. The Hicksites, influenced by the New York minister Elias Hicks, placed a higher emphasis on inspired ministry given by contemporary friends.  There was also an undercurrent of class, with the educated, wealthy, and industrial leaning towards orthodoxy, while the poor, uneducated, and rural leaned towards the teaching of Elias Hicks

I first encountered this story in Seth Hinshaw’s Historic Atlas of Ohio Yearly Meeting: An illustrated documentation of the history of the Ohio Quakers from their earliest meetings to their bicentennial in 2013. To learn more about the Hicksite/Orthodox split, I recommend reading Tom Hamm’s The Quakers in America

Published by JoelHNofziger

Joel Horst Nofziger is an independent scholar based in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

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