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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
InOBU Did Quakers Bugle? (23) RE: Did Quakers Bugle? 16 Jul 09


There was a lot of controversy in Quaker meetings during and after the war about the Friends who joined the Union Army because of the anti-slavery issue. A large number of young Friends joined to fight.
My wife and I attended a Meeting at Solebury (Bucks Co. Pa) where they read minutes from business meetings for many of Solebury's two hundred years. The most memorable was the one after the end of the Civil War. It restated the peace testimony and said that it was wrong that so many young people of their meeting fought in the civil war. It went on to say it did not excuse their taking part in killing, but asked that history understand, though not excuse, understand what it was to be invaded, as Pa was, and to fight back in such a crusade as the fight against slavery.
Tom Fox, who was killed by one side or the other, tortured to death in Iraq after being instrumental in exposing Abu Greb, was an army musician as his Vietnam era alternative service. I have never heard of a Friend as a bugler in the Civil War, but it would not have been impossibility.
Remember it is only history, remember that we felt it wrong, though asked forgiveness for that which was humanly understandable, and teach peace.
No rights were gained by war, as we are told in the Army adds today, we won our right to freedom of religion through the martyrdom of Friends like Mary Dyer leading to the eventual Flushing Remonstrance, the civil war did not put an end to slavery, a hundred years of peaceful struggle against Jim Crowe is doing that… we win rights in the face of war, not through war.
Have fun, and remember to use thee and thy but not thou (by 1858…. We used thee and thy as they used the singular of the verb to be, when speaking to one person, "you" and "are" when speaking to more than one. Speaking to one person, thee is taller than I thought thee would be; take thy hat; give me thy hand; can thee direct me to, Friend do not point thy cannon into my face…
Thine in the light,
Lorcan Otway
15th Street Monthly Meeting
Religious Society of Friends
Commonly known as "Quakers"
PS I am a plain dressing Friend, feel free to ask me about where to find plain clothes… and please don't get into fist fights dressed as a Friend… except with River Brethren… (Just kidding… … it is Mennonites we hit…. Only kidding… stop me… someone!)


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