Mary Garrigues journal
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
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Overview and metadata sections
Mary Garrigues was a Quaker woman who resided in the Philadelphia area in the mid-to-late eighteenth century, possibly in Maryland. In addition to the Yearly Meeting in Philadelphia, Garrigues attended Quaker Meetings in Baltimore, Gunpowder, Elkridge, Chester, and Cecil, Maryland.
At the start of her journal, Garrigues copied out a portion of a manuscript written by Christopher Wilson in 1759. Wilson was a Quaker from Cumberland, England, who travelled to the American colonies in 1744. In his manuscript, Wilson recorded his regrets over engaging in risky trading activities, chronicling his financial and spiritual losses, and urged other Quakers not to follow in his footsteps.
During the Revolutionary War, Garrigues observed that there were considerable numbers of Quakers who were disowned by their Meetings because they took the “test of Aligiance to the States,” also known as the Oath of Allegiance. Quaker Meetings disowned these members for swearing an oath and straying from the religion’s peaceful principles.
“An Account of Ministering Friends from Europe who visited America, 1656 to 1793,” The Journal of the Friends Historical Society, Vol. X, No. 3 (July 1913): 117-132.Wetherill, Charles. History of The Religious Society of Friends Called by Some The Free Quakers, in the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Printed for the Society, 1894.Information derived from the collection.
This journal was created by Mary Garrigues, who described her experiences at Quaker Meetings in the Mid Atlantic, her travels to those Meetings, and her preaching against slavery. She also copied a portion of a 1759 manuscript by English Quaker Christopher Wilson.
On the first leaf of this volume, Garrigues copied out a portion of a manuscript written by Quaker Christopher Wilson in 1759. Wilson wrote that although he had been born with ample resources, he had been “by little & little drawn into trading to foreign Parts and the Lord hath (I’ve seen) blasted my Endeavours.” Wilson warned other Quakers not to follow his missteps. It appears that Garrigues copied a longer portion of this manuscript, but the next leaf has been torn out.
The text of the journal is divided into two parts. The first section contains entries from June 1779 through March 1782. The second section contains entries from August 1773 through May 1779.
Garrigues traveled extensively to attend Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Meetings in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She frequently recorded her religious experiences at these Meetings. In early 1780, she was granted permission to travel and preach to other Quakers in Maryland. Garrigues spoke out against slavery, imploring other Quakers to free their slaves. At the plantation of a wealthy slaveowner in Elkridge, Maryland, Garrigues observed that “a Great Exercise” came over her. She trembled violently and asked the man “to look into his own salvation” because “things were much out of order.” Garrigues observed that families who kept slaves were burdened tremendously, but “at other places where they had set them free the Spirit freedom seemd to breath in there [sic] families.” Garrigues also described appointed “meetings for Negroes” in Cecil and Chester, Maryland.
A large portion of Garrigues’s journal is devoted to observations of her spiritual state. While she noted in September 1773 that she had suffered from “great poverty of spirit,” in July 1781 she was “brought into so sweet a calm composure of mind all distress seemed removed.” Garrigues also recorded dreams she believed were imbued with spiritual significance. On the eve of the American Revolution, she dreamt that she heard a trumpet’s call to battle and remained in “much distress in mind for a considerable time.”
Garrigues referenced the American Revolution infrequently, noting briefly that this period was “a time of outward commotion … among the powers of the Earth.” However, she observed the war’s impact on her fellow Quakers. Garrigues described Quakers who had been disowned by their Meetings for taking the Oath of Allegiance to the Patriot cause. While traveling in West River, Maryland, in June 1778, she noted that the Meetings in the area were small due to most members “being disowned on account of taking what they call the test.”
This volume is bound with marbled paper and contains 19 leaves of unlined, laid paper. It contains handwritten text in black ink. On the inside of the front cover, the inscription “Mary Garrigues her Book/The 25th Day of the 4th month 1764” is written several times. The name “Bonsall” and the letters “BB” are also written inside the front cover. The inside of the back cover also reads “Mary Garrigues her Book 1764.”
Item 0132: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097
Accessioned July 30, 1997
Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, January 2017.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 January 9
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