John Henry Douglas

  November 27th, 1832 ~ Quaker Evangelist John Henry Douglas (1832-1919) is born in Fairfield, Maine. Educated at St. Albans and at Hartland Academy in his native State, and later spending three years at the Friends’ School at Providence, Rhode Island.

~ During a storm at sea traveling from Maine to New York, he has a conversion experience and promises to live a Christian life.

~ John Henry Douglas visits Springfield Monthly Meeting in Clinton County, Ohio for the first time.  This is before the Douglas family moved from the East to Bloomington, Ohio. John Henry stays with his cousin John N. Douglas for a year. (Right:   Springfield Meeting in 1851.)

  1853 ~ The David and Chloe Douglas family, which includes the two brothers John Henry Douglas and Robert W. Douglas and their sister Enice, move to Bloomington, Ohio.

April 23rd, 1856
~ John Henry Douglas marries Miriam Carter.

August 11th, 1857
~ J. Walter Malone is born in Clermont County.  He grows up in New Vienna, Ohio, the center of the revival activities of the John Henry Douglas and the Esther and Nathan Frame.

~ John Henry Douglas becomes a recorded Quaker minister on the recommendation of Dover Monthly Meeting, Clinton County, Ohio.

~ John Henry Douglas is ready to preach in support of revival and the transformation of the Society of Friends.  During the Civil War, John Henry continues preaching and visits most of the Yearly Meetings in America.  John Henry and Eli Harvey (son of William Harvey of Springfield Monthly Meeting in Clinton County, Ohio) will hold evangelical meetings from New England to Iowa. It is known that John Henry Douglas was at a certain point a recognized minister of Springfield Meeting.

1863 ~ John Henry Douglas and his brother Robert and their wives move from Bloomington to New Vienna, Ohio.

  1865 ~ After the end of the war ~ Friend Rebecca Collins of New York is the first American Friend to travel to Britain after the war in July.  Many will follow after her.  Traveling ministers traveled both ways.  Two British traveling ministers, Bevan Braithwaite and Joseph Crosfield sail to New York in September.  Many will follow after them.  British Quaker periodicals are taking notice of the reforms taking place in Midwestern American.  Most British Quakers are surprised by the ministry of John Henry Douglas which seems to them to be so emotional, with what appears as pre-prepared remarks.  British Friends, although for temperance, are surprised by the American Friends’ vehement stand on absolute abstinence from alcohol.

  1866-1867 ~ Quaker revivalist John Henry Douglas travels to Europe and visits England, Ireland, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, and Germany.

  1868 ~ John Henry Douglas is appointed Secretary of the Peace Association of Friends.

 1869 ~ The first two approved (by Indiana Yearly Meeting, Fairfield Quarterly Meeting and Clear Creek Monthly Meeting [Orthodox/Gurneyite]) open “general meeting” revivals were held in two schoolhouses near the home of John Henry Douglas outside of New Vienna, Ohio.  The Quaker revival, which was open to non-Quakers too, was held in the Hoskins School on Bernard Road near Tilton Road about two miles east of New Vienna.  The second meeting was held at the Fisher schoolhouse on Fisher Road near Centerville.  These candlelight meetings lead to the establishment of Fairview Meeting of Friends.  In November of 1869 the first meetinghouse was built and opened with 119 adults and 33 children as members.  Nathan and Esther Frame made their first trip to Ohio to participate in the dedication of

  1869 ~ A revival with John Henry Douglas at Clear Creek Monthly Meeting leads one hundred and fifty-nine people to join the meeting.  A “General Meeting” revival is held in Martinsville, Ohio, Clinton County.

Late 1869
~ An Gurneyite Quaker preparative meeting is established at Southland, Arkansas.  Quaker Revivalist John Henry Douglas helped to establish this meeting.  Like Alida Clark, John Henry Douglas believed that African-Americans could become good members of The Society of Friends.

~ John Henry Douglas is one of the founders of Wilmington College. Friend Daniel Hill, one of the most prominent Quaker peace activists after the war, lived not too far from John Henry Douglas in New Vienna, Ohio. Daniel Hill became the first president of the “Peace Association.” During its early years the Peace Association of Friends publishing house was located in New Vienna, Ohio.  The organization would publish a newspaper entitled “The Messenger of Peace” and a children’s magazine entitled, “The Olive Leaf.”  The organization also published many tracts and books.  “The Christian Worker,” the precursor to “Evangelical Friend” was first published in New Vienna (1880-1894).  This periodical was established in reaction to “Higher Criticism.”

Winter of 1873
~ John Henry Douglas conducts a revival at the schoolhouse at Sycamore in Clinton County, Ohio and an indulged meeting is set up.  It becomes a preparative meeting of Newberry Monthly Meeting.  In 1891 Sycamore and the much older Westfork Preparative Meetings request to become a monthly meeting.  In 1895 they build a new meetinghouse in Westboro, Ohio.

  1874 ~ John Henry Douglas moves to Wilmington, Ohio from New Vienna.

~  Revivalist John Henry Douglas also becomes a “Pastor” in Glen Falls,
New York

~ 1890 ~ Quaker Holiness revivalist John Henry Douglas becomes the General Superintendent of Iowa Yearly Meeting. While he was  there were 7430 recorded conversions and 2595 persons added in membership by this means to the Iowa Yearly Meeting of Orthodox Friends. He firmly establishes the pastoral system.

September 1887
~ The Richmond Conference (Richmond, Indiana) is called to deal with the many divisions within Gurneyite faith and practice.  Representatives from twelve “Orthodox” Yearly meetings attended, including a “Gurneyite” delegation from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.  This conference will lead to the establishment of a Five Years Meeting in 1902.  London Yearly Meeting does not endorse the “Richmond Declaration of Faith.”  They refused to accept a “Creed.”  Benjamin Franklin Trueblood, during the Conference, supports the paid pastorate program of John Henry Douglas.  British Friend Joseph Bevan Braithwaite can not accept the concept of a paid ministry in Quakerism.

~ After four years of exhausting work as General Superintendent of Iowa Yearly Meeting, John Henry Douglas retires from his post.  He is replaced by Isom P. Wooten.

1890 ~ John Henry Douglas’ ministry as Superintendent leads him to Oregon and then finally California where he will become the minister of extension for California Yearly Meeting.

  John Henry Douglas helps to found Newberry Friends Meeting in Oregon.  Many of the settlers of Oregon came from Iowa.  By 1893 there were seven monthly meetings and Oregon Yearly Meeting was established (now Northwest Yearly Meeting) affiliated with Evangelical Friends International.

~ John Henry Douglas offers $10.00 to anyone who would find in the Bible a text to support “stillness before the Lord,” or to prove “silent waiting” scriptural.

~ John Henry Douglas is living in Pasadena, California for the sake of his health: During the year past John Henry Douglas, the veteran minister of Friends, has resided in Pasadena, where his health has much improved. He is still able to preach with great power and unction. His ministerial service has been more extended than that of any other living minister in our Society. His long and useful ministry has been a great blessing to the church at large, and, as the evening of life comes on, he will be favorably remembered by many persons wherever Friends reside (The American Friend, Volume 8, Issue 2, 8th mo. 29th, 1901 (Five Years Meetings), p. 834.

November 24th, 1919
~ Evangelist John Henry Douglas dies in Whittier, California.

  John Henry Douglas, towards the end of his life: It has been my privilege to see the church rise from stagnation, to a living aggressive body. I have seen six Yearly Meetings established, and seven colleges built. I have seen the beginnings of our missionary work and its progress, also the Evangelistic and Church extension interest, and the great Christian Endeavor [a powerful youth] movement, so that we can exclaim, “What hath God brought in the church since 1860!” If God can have a blood washed and Spirit filled church, the future may be made greatly to prosper, souls will be saved and added to the church, many will be called specifically to labor in word and doctrine, and the great Northwest will feel the effects of your faithfulness… and great joy and peace will be yours. GO FORWARD!



Let the journey begin!

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