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Thomas Willis writings relating to the Separation and Quaker testimonies


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

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Thomas Willis (1771-1864), Quaker minister, was the son of Fry and Anne Willis of Westbury Monthly Meeting. In 1789 Jericho Monthly Meeting was set off from Westbury, and in 1795 Thomas married Phebe Searing (d. 1845) under the care of Jericho Monthly Meeting. Anne, Thomas, and Phebe Willis, all Elders in the Meeting, had serious concerns about the views of fellow member and minister, Elias Hicks. In 1827, Phebe Willis asked Elias Hicks to respond in writing to specific questions about his beliefs. His reply was published and touched off a bitter debate. After the Hicksite Separation in 1828, the Willises remained members of Westbury and Jericho Monthly Meeting (Orthodox). In 1829, Evan Lewis published a defense of Elias Hicks in a pamphlet in which he argued that Hicks was following the "ancient testimonies.".

Source of acquisition--New York Yearly Meeting. Method of acquisition--Gift of; Date of acquisition--1997.

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