Definitions of Friends, or Quakers

  1. In 1656 Quakers began to come to Massachusetts, where they were imprisoned, banished, and in four cases in which they returned, hanged. Charles II. put a stop to the persecution. George Fox, their founder, visited America in 1671-73. Friends settled largely in Rhode Island, and especially in Pennsylvania, which, founded by a Quaker (Penn), was largely a Quaker colony. New Jersey also was largely settled by Quakers. Everywhere they were thrifty and excellent citizens, though their aversion to war hampered Pennsylvania in making successful defence against the French. They were constantly forward in movements of philanthropy and reform, and had a most important part in the abolition movement. In 1827 occurred a rupture between the " Orthodox " Friends and the Hicksites, or followers of Elias Hicks, the dispute being with regard to the atonement. In 1890 the Friends numbered 107,000. Dictionary of United States history