PRATIE PLACE

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Watson Salt Works

If you have Quaker ancestors, you can find microfilms of their meetings, from the 17th century on, at Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges. As I mentioned before, the meeting notes are full of entertainingly shrewish complaints about major and minor infractions.

In the run-up to the Revolutionary War it was a particularly heinous crime to sneak off and train with the militia. Many young Quaker men wanted to shoot the British as much as the other boys did. They tried to cover their tracks but the old biddies found out and busted them and then complained about them at the Monthly Meetings and got the infractions written up so I can read them hundreds of years later.

I discovered one of my ancestor's methods of helping out in the History of Bucks County:
"During the Revolution John Watson removed to Shrewsbury, and engaged in the manufacture of salt on the Jersey coast, where Point Pleasant is now located. He sold the product to the continental army, and thus incurred the special enmity of the British, who destroyed his residence and plant, thereby ruining him financially."
Then John got in trouble with the Kingwood Meeting (November 1779):
"The meeting is informed John Watson has remov'd without Certificate and since Marry'd contrary to the rules of our discipline."
The 18-year-old bride, Mary Jackson, member of a different congregation, got in trouble too and had to apologize:
"To the Monthly Meeting of Friends held in Shrewsbury the 3d day 4th month 1780. Dear Friends, I have to Confess I have been married contrary to the good order Established amongst Friends, and without consent or knowledge of my parents, for which offences I am Sorry and desire friends to continue me under their care, hoping for time to come shall give them no more trouble - Mary Watson"
You actually don't have to go to Pennsylvania to read these microfilms; most of them can be rented for $3.50 each at the Family History Centers run by the Mormons all over the country.

If you go to your local Mormon "Family Stake," you will see that in the process of accumulating all this information, the Mormons have converted all the dead people everywhere. Quakers, Baptists, Jews, no matter - they have all been posthumously converted to Mormonism. Strange, but true.

Right now the Jews and the Mormons are having one of their periodic discussions about these involuntary conversions - but they aren't getting anywhere.

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2 Comments:

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

The converting dead people thing has to be one of the more bizarre things about Mormonism. What is the POINT?

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

you mean I can be a mormon, too?

and by doing it after i die, i can still make it to Catholic heaven?

Calloo, Callay!

 

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