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Happy birthday, Joel Bean (Dec. 16, 1825 – 1914)! #Quaker minister. #Pacifist. Preserver of traditional and historic Quakerism. Joel and Hannah Bean were prominent members of the Iowa Yearly Meeting in the 1870s when an epidemic of revivalism swept through the local Quaker communities, bringing with it an appetite for emotional worship, doctrinal litmus tests, and salaried preachers!! The Beans didn’t like controversy, and tried to adjust for a while. Eventually, however, it became clear that the holiness-oriented Quakers wanted to totally abandon many key Quaker ideas, like: silent worship, lay ministry, and the universality of the Inner Light. In 1882, Joel and Hannah moved to San Jose, California, where they organized a new meeting. But even at such distance they weren’t safe from the Iowa revivalists. The Beans found it necessary to withdraw and build a new meetinghouse where a tiny Quietist remnant could practice as they saw fit. This group, the College Park Meeting, became a model for independent non-doctrinaire Quakerism, a model later adopted by many meetings around the country. As Quaker historian Chuck Fager puts it: “By the time of their deaths, the Beans had become the unintentional godparents of a whole new branch of American Friends, three unprogrammed yearly meetings whose membership ranges from California to the Rockies, and its influence continent-wide.” Joel was born in Alton, New Hampshire.

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Marginal Mennonite Society

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Happy birthday, John Greenleaf Whittier (Dec. 17, 1807 – Sept. 7, 1892)! #Quaker. #Pacifist. #Abolitionist. Poet. Hymn writer. In 1847, he became editor of “The National Era,” one of the most influential abolitionist newspapers of the time. Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Died in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Buried in Union Cemetery, Amesbury, Massachusetts.

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