William Evans.

The Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) online

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the stars, it being the first clear night since
we left Canandaigua.

" 18th. Rising very early, we rode over
the Alleghany mountain, which was covered
with snow about ten inches deep. There were
abundance of tracks of deer, bear, wild cats,
white rabbits, &c. Near the top, a great bear
raised up from the side of a log and frightened
our horses. We fed our horses, and after eat-
ing some biscuit and dried beef at the foot of
the mountain, proceeded on our journey, get-
ting to the widow Harris's to lodge that

A few days after this, they were permitted
to reach home in safety and good health. In
closing the report of their proceedings, they

remark in substance — that during a sojourn
of seven weeks with the Indians, they had
frequent opportunities of observing with sor-
row, the melancholy and demoralizing effects
resulting from the supply of ardent spirits
furnished them by the whites, — that the diffi-
culties and hardships to which those poor peo-
ple, once a free and independent nation, ai*e
now subjected, appeared to them loudly to
claim the sympathies of Friends and others,
who have grown opulent in a land which was
their former inheritance, and that they believed
a mode might be devised of promoting their
comfort, and rendering them more essential
benefits than any which had yet been adopted.
They likewise remark, that the engagement
was one involving trials of a peculiar and
painful nature, yet they had reason to hope,
that the objects they had in view were in good
degree answered, and that they were thankful
in being permitted to return with the reward
of peace.

As the articles of the treaty confirmed the
right of the United States to large tracts of
land which had been obtained by conquest,
without making the Indians what Friends
deemed an adequate and just compensation
fir it, they could not consent to the requests
so frequently made to sign the treaty.

Soon after reaching home, this diligent la-
bourer in the cause of his Lord and Master,
believed himself called to attend the Yearly
Meeting of Friends in Virginia and some of
the meetings composing it. His esteemed
friend, Thomas Stewardson, kindly consented
to bear him company, and they set out to per-
form the service in the fifth month, 1795.
From some brief memoranda which he made,
the following account of the journey is taken.

"Left Philadelphia on fifth-day morning, and
rode hard in the heat to reach Elkton, forty-
eight miles ; arrived about eight o'clock much

" 8th. Got off by sun-rise : the day was
very hot, but with diligent travelling we arrived
at Baltimore, fifty-four miles. Leaving this
city in the morning, we got to dear Evan
Thomas's to lodge, being mutually glad to see
each other. On First-day, the 10th, accom-
panied by several Friends, we sat off for
GeorgetoAvn. In our way, rode through the
Federal city, then only in its incipient state,
but fast advancing both as to buildings and
population. At Georgetown we put up at an
inn ; sent for doctor Thornton and others, to
procure a meeting at three o'clock in the after-
noon. He used great exertions and the in-
habitants being generally notified, the meeting
was held in a large new school-house. It was
much too small to contain the people, which
at first made them somewhat uneasy, but more



stillness and composure taking place, the
meeting was held to satisfaction. Crossing
the Potomack, we rode to Alexandria and

" Second-day, the 11th. It rained and
thundered very much in the morning. I
however visited several Friends, and the wea-
ther becoming more favourable, we went to
Occoquan to dine, and reached Dumfries to
lodge. The house being full of Virginians
attending the court ; they were not a little

" 12th. Got to Fredericksburg to dinner
and thence to Bowling Green, and lodged,
being fifty miles and the day very hot.

" 13th. Travelled very diligently and made
fifty-two miles to-day. Having imprudently
drank cold water when very warm, I became
considerably unwell.

" 14th. Expecting the Quarterly Meeting
to be at White Oak swamp, we rode there
after breakfast, but were disappointed, as no
Friends had assembled. We then went on
and soon met several Friends going to Wain
Oak, the Quarterly Meeting being held there,
whose company we joined. The Quarterly
Meeting was a good one.

" 16th. Meeting for Sufferings was held,
after which we went to the meeting of minis-
ters and elders at three o'clock in the afternoon.

" First-day, the 17th. The morning meet-
ing very large, almost as many out of doors
as within, and a favoured time ; that in the
afternoon was also large and a mixed congre-
gation, as in the morning, and it was hoped
was a profitable season.

" 18th. Meeting for worship was large, at-
tended by many not Friends; it proved a hard
laborious time and a number of appearances
in the ministry ; after which, the business be-
gan and was well conducted. Lodged at
James Ladd's with upwards of forty Friends.

" 19th. The meeting to-day was a solid
refreshing time : Richard Jordan's service
was very acceptable and I hope useful.

" 20th. Feeling a freedom to propose that
the women and men should sit together befoi'e
they proceeded to business, the shutters were
opened and there was some service to satis-
faction ; then went to business, in which, I
thought Friends were favoured. About four
o'clock the Yearly Meeting closed, and we
returned to James Ladd's.

" 21st. A meeting being appointed at Black
creek, a number of Friends accompanying me
with our valued Friend, Richard Jordan of
North Carolina, we reached the widow Elli-
son's, where we waited until meeting time. The
company was large considering the time for
giving notice, many gay people attended, and

Vol. I. —No. 10.

it was thought to be a favoured meeting.
Richard Jordan was large in testimony and in

" 23d. Rode to Richmond. E. Maule and
his brother have built a mill on the side of the
canal, and for the privilege of the water pay
four hundred dollars a year. This canal is
an astonishing work, about twenty feet wide,
dug through a solid rock ; in many places
twenty-five feet deep on the upper side of the
hill. It runs about forty -five feet above tha
level of James river.

" First-day, 24th. Arose with much fear
and concern upon my mind, lest truth should
suffer by our having a meeting among a gay
and libertine people, many of them much hurt
by Paine's ' Age of Reason,' which has been
abundantly spread in Virginia. However, at
entering the capitol, where Friends had almost
universally been exceedingly tried in their
labours, I was favoured with great composure.
My friend Richard Jordan opened the service,
which was to all appearance, satisfactory and
well received by the people. Immediately after
he sat down, the way was clearly opened for
me to stand up with the words, ' Verily there
is a reward for the righteous ; Verily He is a
God that judgeth in the earth ;' to illustrate
and enforce which, the Lord was pleased to
grant me both matter and utterance to my own
astonishment and thankfulness. It proved such
a time as I think I never experienced more than
once or twice in all my labour in the cause of
truth. A very numerous, crowded audience
were exceedingly still and attentive for about
one hour and a half; when, though I did be-
lieve I felt sufficient matter and concern to
have supported me some hours, as well as
the closest attention in the audience, yet- I
thought it expedient to close ; with great
thankfulness to our gracious Helper, who had
been so marvellously with us. Friends who
were present from most of the meetings within
thirty miles, said, the truths of revelation,
rose triumphant over Deism and eri'or, and
were never more cordially received in that
place. The Methodist minister having appoint-
ed to preach at Manchester at four o'clock, the
time set by Friends for our meeting, we did
not go to the meeting-house until five, when his
meeting being over, we took possession of the
house and had a very large audience, many
from Richmond. The general tenor of my
labour was much the same as in the morning.
This was also a solid and comfortable meeting.
Returned to Richmond and went to bed, re-
joicing that truth had triumphed to-day."

The account breaks off here, and the notes
of his further service in this journey, if he
kept any, have been lost. From his compan-



ion we learn that on the 25th, they went to
Goochland and held a meeting ; thence to
Cedar creek, and taking one or two meetings
in their way, reached home on the 4th of the
sixth month.

His mind being expanded by Gospel love
and an ardent desire for the salvation of his
fellow creatures, he was made willing freely
to give up his beloved home and connexions
and his temporal concerns, when he believed
himself called to go forth as an ambassador
for Christ, to publish the glad tidings of re-
demption to a fallen race, through a crucified
and risen Saviour. For a considerable time
he had been under a concern to pay a reli-
gious visit to Friends and others, in some
parts of Europe, and opening it to the respec-
tive meetings of which he was a member, his
prospect of duty was united with, and the
requisite certificates of the approbation of
Friends were granted him.

His notes of this engagement, are introdu-
ced as follows :

" Journal on hoard the Sussex, on a voyage from
New Caslle to Liverpool, from the 18th of fifth
month, 1796, in company with several minis-
ters, viz : Samuel Emlen, Deborah Darby, Re-
becca Young, Sarah Talbot and Phebe Speak-

"Fourth-day, 18th. All the Friends intend-
ing to embark in the Sussex, met at New Cas-
tle, a public meeting being appointed to be
held in the court-house. It was large ; more
persons attending than could be accommoda-
ted within the walls. Our own members were
desired to give place to the towns-people; they
generally did so, and our dear Samuel Emlen
continued at the inn with them, and was en-
gaged in distributing spiritual bread as occa-
sion offered. The court, then sitting at New
Castle, adjourned to give us an opportunity in
the house. Judge Basset with several magis-
trates, lawyers, &c., were present. We be-
lieved that the great Bishop of souls granted
us his presence, and directed the labourers to
invite the congregation to an attentive waiting
upon Him the Leader and Teacher of his peo-
ple, as the only sure means of obtaining hea-
venly knowledge ; and they were feelingly put
in remembrance that if they died in their sins,
whither Christ was gone, they could not come.
A clear and decided testimony was also borne
against holding our fellow-men in slavery ;
and the meeting closed in solemn supplica-
tion, prayer and praises to the universal Pa-
rent and gi-acious Preserver of men. We
returned to the inn, and after dinner, the large
room and balcony being furnished with seats,
Friends who accompanied the voyagers hither,
sat down, in number about one hundred and

forty ; and some of the towns-people hearing
of it, also came in. The great Lord of the
family was evidently with us and favoured
with a precious solemnity ; under which, our
endeared friends, Deborah Darby and Rebec-
ca Young, through the tenderino- influence of
Gospel love, were again qualified to water the
plants of our heavenly Father's planting, and
affectionately to bid them fai'ewell in the Lord.
Two of the Friends who were going abroad
in truth's service, were also exercised in the
expression of heart-felt concern for the preser-
vation of themselves in the love and life of
truth, and also of their long-endeared brethren
and sisters whom they were about to leave.
Holy fellowship and Gospel love being refresh-
ingly and encouragingly felt among us, we
were once more united in lifting up our hearts
in prayer and praises ; committing each other
to the merciful and all-wise disposal of the
everlasting Shepherd. This prepared the way
for many near and tender friends and con-
nections to part, in the mutual experience of
that love which is without dissimulation, and in
which the world's votaries are not privileged
to rejoice : may it ever continue and increase
throughout all the churches of Christ. About
six in the evening we went aboard the Sussex,
at anchor before New Castle.

" Fifth-day, the 19th. The vessel having
hoisted anchor and sailed in the night, we
found ourselves this morning at Reedy island,
where we waited for some addition to our
poultry. The forenoon was rainy, with high
wind and rough watei' — several of the passen-
gers sick. The weather clearing away in the
afternoon, we again set sail until about eleven
o'clock at night, then dropped anchor ; the
pilot not being willing to go out of the capes
that night.

"20th. Setting sail about day-break with a
smart fair breeze, we came in sight of the
light-house, and a boat coming off for our
pilot sooner than we expected, hurried us
much with our letters. We were out of sight
of land by four o'clock in the afternoon ; all
the passengers as well as could be expected.

" 21st. A desii'e prevails among us to com-
fort and strengthen one another, and especially
that the younger part of the company may
manifest our duty to the elder, by every ne-
cessary attention. Our friend Phebe Speak-
man is weak with disease, but supported under
it with instructive resignation and patience —
our dear friend Samuel Emlen, better in health
than when on shore, and with his usual ani- j-
mation, enlivens us in our watery prison with i
frequent recitals of interesting occurrences,
and instances of Providential care and sup-
port, drawn from a long course of observation
and experience. We feel as much at home on



the ocean as we can possibly expect to do, in
this trying separation from the tenderest ties
of nature. — May the Lord increase in us and
them, resignation to his holy will, until it shall
be his good pleasure to restore us to each other

" First-day, 22nd. Fine weather, sea smooth
and wind favourable. At ten o'clock Friends
sat down quietly in the cabin ; the promise to
the two or three was comfortably fulfilled, and
we hope the bond of Christian union strength-
ened, and something of a renewed confirma-
tion afforded, that a wisdom superior to human,
directed both us that are leaving our native
country, and our beloved sisters who are re-
turning home, in casting our lots together in
this ship. Dined on deck. Retiring to the
cabin at four o'clock, we informed our kind
captain that his company and that of as many
of the seamen as inclined to sit with us, would
be agreeable ; upon which he came down with
the mate and six others. After a considerable
time of silence, some counsel and encourage-
ment being dropped, they received it with at-
tention and behaved with respect. We were
glad of their company, and the meeting closed
to satisfaction. Our dear friends at home have
laid in a great abundance of good things for
us ; a testimony of their care and love, though
we, the objects of their benevolence, could
have been contented with less, especially when
we call to mind (as was the case this day at
our bountiful table,) how many of our brethren
by creation, and objects of the same redeem-
ing love, are scarcely furnished with mere ne-
cessaries : the lamentable situation of the poor
Africans in the slave-ships was sympatheti-
cally brought into view.

" 27th. A clear morning and tolerable
breeze. Retired to the cabin to hold our
week-day meeting ; circumstances not permit-
ting it the two preceding days, and were
favoured, through much mercy, with a re-
freshing time, for which we all had occasion
to be thankful.

" 28th. Perceiving a sail making towards
us, she proved to be from Liverpool, bound to
New York. Both vessels backed topsails until
several short letters were written and sent by
our yawl, ours enclosed to E. Pryor of New
York ; and taking charge of theirs to their
friends at Liverpool, we wished good passages
on both sides. It is a pleasure to meet vessels
at sea, and this opportunity of writing to our
dear friends at home rejoiced us much.

" 29th. Wind fair ; at ten o'clock held our
meeting to mutual comfort : all the Friends
well but Rebecca Young, who was not out of
her room to-day.

" 31st. Cold and rainy : at ten o'clock per-
ceived we were coming on the fishing banks

of Newfoundland. We could not see more
than two hundred yards from us, but heard
the fishing vessels sounding their conch-shells,
which we also did, agreeably to custom on
these banks, where there are probably from
two to four hundred English and American
vessels fishing for cod. As it is generally
foggy and rainy weather, they keep a frequent
blowing, to apprize each other of their ap-
proach and to prevent running foul. These
banks are extensive — from east to west, per-
haps one hundred and fifty miles, and from
north to south about two hundred miles ; the
soundings from thirty to sixty fathoms deep.
Our captain estimates that we are now about
two hundred and fifty miles from the nearest
land, which is the island of Newfoundland.
The number of cod annually taken here is
astonishing. They fish for them with lines
forty or sixty fathoms long, with heavy leads
and two hooks ; several of these being kept
out at a time. Some tend them, and others
on board split and salt down the fish in bulk,
until they are loaded, when they return home
and dry them. We threw out a line and soon
took seven, of from ten to twelve pounds

" Fourth-day, 1st of sixth month. Very wet,
cold and uncomfortable, but the wind fair ; we
held our meeting in much quietude.

" Fifth-day, 2nd. Still wet and cold, and
we were scarcely able to keep ourselves warm
with our great coats on. A mountain of ice
being directly ahead, we were obliged to
change our course ; it appeared to move south-
ward, and was judged to be about two hun-
dred yards in length and forty feet above

" Sixth-day. Little wind and a high sea ;
the vessel rolled much, and several of the pas-
sengers passed an uneasy night — the weather
so cold and uncomfortable that we had this
afternoon a fii'e made in the cabin.

" First-day, the 5th. Friends generally sick ;
we had slept little for the last twenty-four
hours, which have been more trying to us
than any heretofore ; yet we are sensible we
have much to be thankful for, especially that
we are mercifully kept in near unity and sym-
pathy with each other.

" 6th. The wind and sea were boisterous
and appeared awful, so that faith, hope and
patience w^ere deeply tried at such seasons.
Those who venture to cross the ocean, need
be well convinced that they do it upon a good
foundation ; such may humbly rest in confi-
dence upon Him who gathers the winds in his
fist. Our captain thinks he never before was
in so hard a gale at this season of the year :
the sea continually breaking over both the
main and quarter deck, injuring our live stock



and washing away several necessary articles.
Friends almost all sick. At night the wind
and sea somewhat abated, and the wind being
fair, we have gained one hundred and ninety
miles towards our port, during the last twenty-
four hours.

" 7th. A rolling sea, wind ahead, and so
cold that we had a fire in the cabin. Thanks
be to that Power Divine, that unites us in the
blessed harmony of the truth. Gained little
on our way, and the wind and seas being very
high, occasioned an afflicting night to most of
the passengers. The ship tossed very much,
and we have had very little refreshing sleep
for several nights ; yet we are sensible that
the benefits and afflictions permitted by Divine
Providence, are more equally distributed than
we sometimes imagine.

" 8th. Wind and rain. This is the tenth
day since we have had fair weather and a
comfortable sea ; may we be favoured to pos-
sess our souls in patience : have gained very
little to-day.

" 10th. Held our week-day meeting, which
the wind and sickness has not permitted us to
do for more than a week past : an hour and a
half was spent in soul-refreshing silence, and
at the close an acknowledgment was made of
Divine favour. Our poultry and other live
stock have been much injured during the late
high seas and winds. Such is the suffering
of these creatures in general on board ship,
that several of us agreed in sentiment, it
would be better to be deprived of the satisfac-
tion of abounding in fresh provisions on sea
voyages, than to gratify the appetite at the ex-
pense of so great oppression.

" First-day, 12th. Our meeting to-day was
a favoured time ; hope and faith revived ;
thanks be to Him who is ever worthy, for this
and every other mercy we enjoy.

" 13th. Cool as usual ; have had very little
pleasant weather since a few days after leav-
ing our capes ; the main deck always wet with
seas breaking over it, and frequently the quar-
ter deck also.

" 15th. Our meeting for worship was a
quiet, comfortable time. The captain appre-
hending we were on soundings, cast the lead,
but found no bottom at one hundred and twen-
ty fathoms. At five o'clock a large ship hove
in sight, which soon altered her course toward
us — our captain hoisted Amei'ican colours and
backened sail to wait for her. Coming along
under our stern, they hailed, which we return-
ed with information that ours was an Ameri-
can vessel from Philadelphia. The other was
a French privateer of twenty guns, and ap-
peared to have two hundred men ; said they
belonged to Brest, and had been cruising
twelve days, was called L'Esperance. Find-

ing who we were, they wished us a good voy-
age and went in pursuit of a brig we had
passed, and which was still in sight. While
she was bearing down upon us, the minds of
Friends were unpleasantly affected, not only
because it was uncei'tain what those sons of
rapine might be permitted to do, but more so,
on reflecting to what a sorrowful state of dark-
ness men must arrive, before they can engage
in the wretched business of privateering.
Sounding again, found bottom at seventy

" 16th. At ten o'clock discovered the coast
of Ireland, not far from Cork. Friends were
mostly upon deck, and pleased with the hope
of seeing Liverpool to-morrow evening.

" 18th. The pilot came on board — met a
number of vessels outward bound, ten of which
were going to Guinea for slaves ; the thoughts
of which brought a gloom over all our plea-
sant reflections on approaching Liverpool and
our kind friends there. Surely worse than
midnight darkness awaits those who, with hor-
rid presumption, dare thus trample upon the
most sacred decrees of heaven. About nine
in the evening a revenue boat, with two cus-
tom-house officers came on board, and by them
we were landed near the dwelling of our hos-
pitable and worthy friends Robert and Sarah
Benson, who received us with real cordiality.

Mercy and goodness having been abundantly
evident towards us in crossing the sea, favour-
ing with many uniting and confirming seasons
together, may we ever acknowledge it with
thankfulness to the Father of mercies.

" First-day, sixth month 19th, 1796. At
two meetings in Liverpool, my American com-
panions were all . exercised in testimony ac-
ceptably, and dear Rebecca Young in prayer
in the forenoon. I felt no necessity to be heard
in the ministry.

" 21st. Attended the Monthly Meeting at
Manchester, to which Friends of Liverpool
belong ; the business was conducted with de-
spatch, and in a little different manner from

" 23d. A number not professing with us
attended the meeting on account of a marriage.
I ventured for the first time since my arrival,
to say a few words in testimony ; and feeling
most easy to mention my prospect of having
an evening meeting with the inhabitants, it
was accordingly appointed. Went after din-
ner to Richard Routh's, and retired to my
chamber. In the evening went to the meeting,
which I entered in much fear, even to trem-
bling ; but came out with thankfulness of
heart : a large number of the people gave us
their company ; and through Divine mercy it
proved a solid, comfortable meeting.

" First-day, 26th. At Liverpool, the mom-



ing meeting was large for this place ; dear
Samuel Emlen and our two American women
Friends were engaged in Gospel labour to my
satisfaction, and I hope to profit : my mind
was kept still and quiet, having felt no con-

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) → online text (page 81 of 105)