Who are the Quakers

Quakerism is often experienced as a way of life, rather than a set of beliefs. There are many varieties of Quakerism that express their ideas in different ways, but Quakers generally agree on these tenets:

There is “That of God,” in every person, often called “The Inner Light,” which can guide and shape each life.

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What do Quakers Believe

The Divine is directly accessible to everyone without the need for an intermediary (priest) or ritual. Each of us connects with the Spirit in a manner that is personal, direct, and certain – a continuing revelation of the will of God.

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History of Purchase Meeting

The First Settlers

Purchase Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends was founded by the first settlers in the Harrison area of Westchester County. In 1695, John Harrison of Flushing, Long Island, together with four partners, bought a tract of virgin land in Westchester. The land, which corresponds almost exactly to the Town of Harrison today, was purchased from the Indian Sachem, Pathungo, for the sum of forty pounds.

One of Harrison's partners was Samuel Haight, a member of the Society of Friends. While other partners sold their shares, Haight retained his and encouraged his Quaker friends from Flushing to move to Westchester. Thus, the Quakers became the first settlers of Harrison. In the northern part of the Harrison's tract a farming community developed which became known as Purchase. These Quaker farmers formed a meeting and began to worship in each other's homes in 1719. One of these farmers, Anthony Field, donated a plot of land for a meetinghouse and in 1727 the first meetinghouse was erected. This historic meetinghouse stood at the corner of Purchase and Lake Streets for nearly 250 years. Fire damaged the structure in 1919 and it was reconstructed to the original external appearance. Unfortunately, it was completely destroyed by fire in 1973.

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