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FRIENDS’ MEETING


We have an old mother that peevish is grown,

She snubs us like children that scarce walk alone,

She forgets we’re grown up and have sense of our own,

Which nobody can deny, deny, which nobody can deny

- Benjamin Franklin


Philadelphia 1775

The hooves of her horse flowed across green turf. Betsy loved to ride; the life of a young Colonial woman in a Quaker family was conservative, but the surge and rhythm of the horse carried her farther from constraint than mere miles could allow. The banks of the Delaware were the limits of her range, but with the river ahead and Philadelphia behind, she wished every time she rode out that she need not turn back. Between the immortal vastness of America and the minuteness of one day upon the next, she yearned to be free.

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Before church, Samuel Griscom addressed his family of seventeen children. Standing beside his wife while the children ranked the length of the dining table, he reminded them every week of the beliefs and customs that set their church apart.

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