The Society of Friends, or the Quakers as they are most commonly known, trace their origins back to northern England in 1652. This religious group formed amid the religious upheaval of the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many people questioned the belief in religious authority, the interpretation of the Scriptures, and other common practices such as the role of clergy and sacraments. So when George Fox began preaching beliefs that combined the English Bible, Calvinist theology, and Puritan ethics in 1652, people proved quite receptive to his views.
The earliest Quakers did not believe in a hierarchical structure and felt that God's word according to the Scriptures and Spirit were deemed more important than human ideas and wishes. Like the Anabaptists and English Baptists, Quakers also rejected the belief in predestination and infant baptism. Their foremost concern lay in peaceful living and they dedicated themselves to eradicate war and promoting toleration. They referred to themselves as "the Camp of the Lord" as they struggled against evil and taught that victory lay within human hearts, not killing. But in 1660, the restoration of the English monarchy and the severe persecution over all forms of worship forced Friends to alter their pursuits. They no longer sought to usurp the Church of England, and the Camp of the Lord evolved into a less-threatening organization - the Society of Friends.
Quakers saw themselves as a nonconformist group who worked to ensure a more peaceful, orderly, and prosperous society. They formed stable communities which were regulated by Monthly and Yearly Meetings. Others admired them for their success in the merchant and banking fields as well as their keen interests in scientific knowledge and education. Yet regardless of this general material success, Friends taught members to disdain material accumulation and live plainly. Over the Years, Quakers have established themselves all around the world as a group dedicated to lobbying for equal rights for all and providing aid to the suffering.
A Monthly Meeting for Quakers in Cache Valley was not established until 1972, which is indicated in the minutes of that year. Members in the first recorded minutes expressed their wish to create a regular monthly meeting. The initial concerns of the Logan Friends revolved around educating the public about Quakerism and pondering which social concerns they could "take on." Throughout the collection of minutes, the organization's budget was reported. For the most part, costs were accrued by members traveling to various Quaker Meetings around the country and the world, and bringing well-known members in to speak to Logan Friends. Those that attended other Meetings were expected to report their experiences to the Logan Meeting. Many of these visits are described in the newsletter.
The collection also contains information on the administrative activities of Friends such as the regulation of worship practices, and locating places to worship every month. Meetings were held in members' homes, the Logan Public Library, the local prison, Sunshine Terrace, and even other churches such as the local Presbyterian Church. Additional information deals with the new membership or "clearance" of prospective members as well as births, marriages, and deaths. The minutes and newsletter also describe the liberal ideals of Quakers. Their social concerns covered numerous topics both locally and worldwide. They supported homosexuals, international amnesty, gun control, euthanasia, and the construction of Logan's Planned Parenthood. They donated goods and offered their own homes to orphans from Vietnam during the 1970s and Cuban and Salvadoran refugees in the 1980s. During the refugee crisis of the 1980s, members of the local meeting felt that they needed to reestablish an "underground railroad" to help those fleeing from oppression just as Quakers had for runaway slaves prior to the American Civil War in 1862. Logan Friends frowned on capital punishment, nuclear testing, and the negative stereotypes of Middle Easterners circulating during Desert Storm in the early 1990s. Quakers boycotted USU's eating facilities in the late 1970s because they bought lettuce imported from Brazilian farmers who were being exploited by the Brazilian government. They also boycotted Nestlé products in the early 1980s because the company advised mothers in third world countries to discontinue nursing their infants and use Nestlé formulas. Throughout the collection members of the meeting were encouraged to write state legislators and other government officials to express their sentiment towards various social issues. Some of these letters are included in the newsletter as are a few replies they received.
There were no reports of animosity between this group and the dominant religious group of the area - the L.D.S. Church. In fact many friends expressed their appreciation when Mormons attended conferences with them and agreed on certain topics. In the first minutes of 1972 members even voiced their concern over the anti-Mormon sentiment many non-Mormons expressed and wanted to ease these tensions.
This collection contains the monthly business minutes and monthly newsletter of th Logan Friends' Meeting. The collection of the newsletters begins in 1977, whereas the minutes of the business meetings begin in November of 1972. The same basic topics are discussed in both the newsletter and minutes. The content of the newsletter does provide more detailed descriptions of the Logan Meeting, however, as well as the musings of the editors and clippings of articles written by or about Quakers in the Herald Journal, Cache Valley's local newspaper.
Restrictions on Access :
No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.Restrictions on Use :
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the Logan Society of Friends Records must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.Preferred Citation :
Initial Citation: Logan Society of Friends Records USU_COLL MSS 193, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.
Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 196, USUSCA.
This collection is arranged in chronological order.
Processing Note :
Processed in 2001 of OctoberAcquisition Information :
This collection was donated by Jim Boone of Lewiston, Utah in 1992. He was the editor of the Cache Valley Quaker Newsletter at that time.Related Materials :
Papers of Allen W. Stokes (COLL MSS 215), the Meeting's first Chairman of Ministry and former Utah State University professor.Bibliography : Sources:
Detailed Description of the Collection