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Rancocas Friends Meeting

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Famous Friends

Two of the first Quaker settlers in the area, Thomas Olive and Dr. Daniel Wills were prominent in West Jersey affairs. Both were appointed by the West Jersey Proprietors to purchase land from the Indians and establish a government under Concessions and Agreements, the Fundamental Law of West Jersey. Olive served as the first Speaker of the Assembly in West Jersey and later as Governor of the Province. He also served as Justice for several years. His mill on Mill Creek, established in 1679, was one of the first industries in West Jersey.

Wills was the first doctor to settle in Burlington County. Doctor Daniel Wills of Northampton was the progenitor of the Wills family in America. He was born in Northampton, 1633 at Bugbrooke Parish, Northamptonshire, England. Doctor Daniel Wills of Northampton consented to and affirmed with signature the Concessions and Agreements of West New Jersey on 3 March 1676. He immigrated to New Jersey arriving 1677 on the ship, the Kent. Dr. Wills had been appointed in England as a commissioner for West Jersey. He held 1 share as one of the proprietors of the original 100 shares of West New Jersey property in 1685.



Schoolmaster House

John Gummere, III, The first Quaker schoolhouse of which there are Meeting records was built of frame construction in 1773 and located to the east of the present Meeting house. It was in use until 1822 when the present brick schoolhouse was built to the west of the Meeting house. A long list of teachers has been recorded, the most famous of which was John Gummere. Gummere taught here from 1800 to 1811, after which he established his Academy for Boys in Burlington. He was one of the founders of Haverford College and subsequently became president of that institution. In 1810, a dwelling house was built for him by the Friends (see above), apparently to induce him to continue his teaching here. The building, at the western end of the Village, is still called Gummere House and has the distinction of being the second oldest house in Rancocas.

Born in 1784 at Willow Grove, Horsham, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania the son of Samuel Gummere and his wife Rachel James. Married 17 November 1808 at the Rancocas Meeting House, New Jersey to Elizabeth Buzby. Died 31 May 1845 at Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey. In 1833 John Gummere gave up his Burlington school and, together with his brother Samuel R. Gummere, his son Samuel James Gummere, Dr. John Griscom (formerly headmaster of the Burlington Friends' School) and others, founded Haverford College, where he served as its superintendent and taught mathematics and natural philosophy from 1834 to 1843.



John Woolman

John Woolman, grandson of the pioneer settler of the same name, was born, raised and schooled in Rancocas. A leading Quaker of his time, Woolman was a journalist and zealous worker for the freedom of slaves. He lived from 1720 to 1772 and spent his first 20 years on a farm east of Rancocas.



George Fox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: George Fox (July 1624 - January 13, 1691) was an English Dissenter who is commonly considered the founder of the Religious Society of Friends. Living in a time of great social upheaval, he rebelled against the religious and political consensus by proposing an unusual and uncompromising approach to the Christian faith. His journal is known even among non-Quakers for its vivid account of his personal journey.





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