QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 2001-06 > 0993679587
Subject: [Q-R] Quakers in Virginia/North Carolina
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 18:06:30 EDT
This is in response to Sally's query of 06/26/2001 regarding the time when
Quakers first came to the Albermarle Sound area of North Carolina and to
lower Virginia. While Thomas Hamm, in his reply dated 06/27/2001 has
addressed the part of the query dealing with Perquimans and Pasquotank
Meetings in the Albermarle Sound area of North Carolina, he seems to have
overlooked the latter question: Were there Quakers in that part of Virginia
before 1688? And what were the names of the meetings?
I happen to have a copy of the book, "The Friendly Virginians, America's
First Quakers", by Jay Worall, Jr. (Athens, Georgia: Iberian Publishing
Company, c1994). While scholars may quibble about details, this seems to be
probably the most complete study of Virginia Quakerism which has been
published, at least in recent times.
Jay Worrall believes that a Friends community may have existed at
Chuckatuck in Nansemond County, Virginia from as early as 1656 when Elizabeth
Harris visited the area . Early Friends were harshly persecuted in Virginia,
but Friends at Chuckatuck met regularly for worship after 1672. They built a
meetinghouse in 1675, but this house was closed down or destroyed in 1678.
On p. 86 of his book, Jay Worrell has written:
" In the years following George Fox's visit (1672), the Virginia Quakers
gradually adopted the "good order" of monthly, quarterly and yearly meetings
for business. Members of the six little meetings south of the lower
James----- Chuckatuck, Terrascoe Neck, Pagan Creek, Western Branch, Southern
Branch and Somerton ---- began to meet together every three months, almost at
"Early in the 1690's the Friends on the upper James also began to meet
quarterly with delegates from Curles and New Kent, joined a little later by
Friends from Merchant's Hope and Burleigh, White Oak Swamp, Skimino and
Warwick Meetings, then the older, down-river grouping was called "Lower
Quarterly Meeting: or "tho Lower Quarter," and the newer "the Upper Quarter."
There were also a few Friends at this time on the Eastern Shore of
Virginia, in Accomack and Northampton Counties. There were two
meetinghouses: Guilford Creek (or Muddy Creek} and Nassawadddox,
It would be best to read Jay Worrall's book itself, with its bibliography and
end-notes, but perhaps this will give some idea of the early Friends Meetings
in lower Virginia.