Quaker Cemeteries

A number of cemeteries throughout Quaker Hill carry with them the history of the Quaker community and its evolution over the years. In the various remaining Quaker cemeteries throughout the Oblong one can find the names of important founding families, including Akin, Irish, and Dutcher.

One can also find in them traces of the great schism that broke the Quaker community in half in the 1820s. In 1805 Elias Hicks began preaching rationalist ideas amongst Quakers, attempting to bring Quaker thought in line with the progressive intellectual tendencies of the nineteenth century. Those opposed to Hicks’ philosophy, and against “worldly tendencies” of modern thought, aligned themselves more and more with the prevailing Evangelical movements of the time. In 1827 this came to a head at an annual meeting in Philadelphia, when the two parties split, separating into an Orthodox sect and a “Hicksite” sect. While in Philadelphia and elsewhere the Orthodox remained in control, the Pawling community rejected this more traditional stance, and in the cemeteries that dot Quaker Hill one finds markers indicating that these are Hicksite grounds.

Quaker custom is to not use the name of months, but rather the designation “first month” “second month” etc. Prior to 1753, though, the Quaker calendar began in March (the “first month”) and ended in February, the twelfth.