Freeholders Proclaim 325th Anniversary
of Salem Friends Meeting
Official County Crier Ronald LeHew proclaims the Freeholder words of recognition for the 325th Anniversary of the Salem Friends Meeting.
Freeholder Sue Bestwick presents the proclamation and thanks Friends representative Ruth Hall Brooks for the long service of Friends to the community.
Freeholder Proclamation read by County Crier Ronald LeHew before the February 21, 2001 Regular meeting of the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders:
PROCLAMATION OF 325TH ANNIVERSARY OF SALEM MONTHLY MEETING OF FRIENDS
Whereas, at a time when people in Europe were reacting strongly to religious persecution, John Fenwick and a group of approximately 100 emigrants arrived at New Salem in 1675, established themselves, met for worship in each other's homes and with a formal meeting began to serve each other, and
Whereas, Salem Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers, was founded on the fourth of March in 1676, forming the first English speaking meeting in the Delaware Valley being in continuous service ever since, and
Whereas, John Fenwick donated the "Court House Lot" in 1688, "to erect a court house and prison" in Salem Town and was perhaps the first recorded survey, and
Whereas, though pacifists, many Quakers volunteered and gave their lives to protect the homes and families of Salem and in later years served abroad ministering for solutions for world peace and relief of sufferings, and
Whereas, members have served the city, county and state legislative bodies being approximately nine generations of Salem Quakers having shared governance of their New Salem (meaning "new peace"), and
Whereas, Friends have supported interdenominational and interracial gatherings, schools, missionaries, prison reform, needs of East Africa and the Soviet Union, social welfare, community forums, Scouting and Habitat, and
Whereas, the present 1772 meetinghouse has been shared with soldiers during the American Revolution as a hospital and court and in 1942 for the use of the Salem Jewish Synagogue members when their temple burned.
Now therefore be it proclaimed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Salem, that it joins in celebration of the 325th Anniversary of the Salem Monthly Meeting, and
Be it further proclaimed, that Salem Monthly Meeting remain a living force for good in the lives of the community.
C. David Sparks, Jr., Director
Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Witnesseth:Rita Shade Simpson, Clerk of the Board/Administrator