Delaware Valley Quakers (481-544)
Family Ways: Quaker Idea of the Family of Love
*Most historians believe that the idea of the MODERN AMERICAN FAMILY traces back to the folkways of the Delaware Valley.
*They used the word “family” lightly – the Society of Friends was considered family. (Name given to people of Quaker faith)
*Average Quaker household had smaller numbers of children than in New England, with a larger number of servants; but, more children and fewer servants than Virginia.
*Everyone dined together: parents, children, hired men, servants, and slaves
*Special emphasis on LOVE – as opposed to Puritans & Anglicans, Quakers hated the idea of fear as a major part of the family
*Believed in holding themselves apart from people who were not of their kin and faith
*Believed that the primary role of the family was to raise children and promote spiritual health
Marriage Ways: Quaker Idea of Marriage as a “Loving Agreement”
*Very strict set of marriage customs – specified who one might marry, how & when & where & why
*Very important park of Quaker faith – founder of Society of Friends, George Fox, wrote more than 60 epistles about it
*Strongly condemned “mongrel marriages” – marriages to unbelievers – disowned people who did this – for 200 years this was ½ of disciplinary proceedings
*insisted that love proceed, not follow, marriage
*Quaker marriages were very elaborate – no less than 16 stages:
1) Consulting parents (groom asked his parents, asked bride, then asked her parents) 2) Announcing decision to marry before the Women’s Meeting (women leaders of faith) 3) Sending a friend to notify Men’s Meeting (men leaders of faith) 4) Presenting themselves before Men’s Meeting 5) Men’s Meting would consult parents 6) Waiting period in which people could make objections. 7) Men’s Meeting either approved of or forbade union. 8) Supper was organized for family & friends. 9) Invitations were sent (date and time became known) 10)...