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[283] involved therein. It is well known that Quakers form a sort of commonwealth by themselves, within the civil commonwealth by which they are governed. They pay the public school-tax, and in addition build their own school-houses, and employ teachers of their own Society. They support their own poor, while they pay the same pauper tax as other citizens. They have burying grounds apart from others, because they have conscientious scruples concerning monuments and epitaphs. Of course, the question which of the two contending parties was the true Society of Friends involved the question who owned the meeting-houses, the burying grounds, and the school funds. The friends of Elias Hicks offered to divide the property, according to the relative numbers of each party; but those called Orthodox refused to accept the proposition. Lawsuits were brought in various parts of the country. What a bitter state of animosity existed may be conjectured from the fact that the ‘Orthodox’ in Philadelphia refused to allow ‘Hicksites’ to bury their dead in the ground belonging to the undivided Society of Friends. On the occasion of funerals, they refused to deliver up the key; and after their opponents had remonstrated in vain, they forced the lock.

I believe in almost every instance, where the ‘Hicksites’ were a majority, and thus had a claim to the larger share of property, they offered to divide

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Elias Hicks (1)
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