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Bryan, Hugh (1699–31 December 1753), planter, assemblyman, and evangelical Christian, was born near Beaufort in South Carolina, the son of Joseph Bryan, an Indian trader and farmer, and Janet Cochran. Bryan’s father was an early settler on South Carolina’s southern frontier, and it was there that Hugh Bryan spent most of his life. As a boy he was taken prisoner by Indians during the Yamasee War (1715) and was carried to St. Augustine, where he was eventually released. According to tradition, Bryan “met with a Bible among the ...

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Ivins, Anthony Woodward (16 September 1852–23 September 1934), businessman, rancher, and church leader, was born in Toms River, New Jersey, the son of Israel Ivins, a pioneer physician and farmer, and Anna Lowrie. Shortly after Ivins’s birth, his family converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). They moved west to the Salt Lake Valley, and in 1861 Israel Ivins was assigned by ...

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Other Day, John (1819?–30 October 1869), Christian farmer chief of the Wahpeton Dakotas, who became famous for leading white settlers to safety during the Dakota War of 1862, was born in southern Minnesota, the son of Scarlet Bird (Zitkadanduta), a war shaman. His mother’s name is not known. His Indian name was Anpetutokeca; he was also known as Good Sounding Voice, or Hotonhowaste....

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Perry, Edward (1630?–1695), farmer and Quaker leader, was born in England (parents and place unknown). Perry reached Sandwich, Massachusetts (then part of Plymouth Colony), by 1652 and took up land there. In 1654 he married Mary Freeman, the daughter of Edmund Freeman of Sandwich; the couple had nine children. Perry was punished for refusing to comply with the Plymouth Colony’s marriage regulations requiring that a magistrate preside over the wedding. The ceremony that Mary and Edward used apparently anticipated Quaker (Friends) marriage proceedings in which the couple exchanged vows publicly before witnesses, without the supervision of a minister or magistrate, after which all present signed the marriage certificate. When Quaker missionaries appeared in the colony in 1657, Perry was among the first to join their movement. While not as draconian in its persecution of Quakers as Massachusetts, Plymouth reacted negatively to their arrival by severely fining and disfranchising resident Quakers and expelling Quaker missionaries from the colony. Thus, Perry was fined and disfranchised and lost the chance for community leadership for over a decade, although he must have retained the respect of many town residents who defended their Quaker neighbors....

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Strawbridge, Robert (?–1781), Methodist lay preacher and farmer, was born in Drumsna (Drummersnave), County Leitrim, Ireland, the son of Robert Strawbridge, a farmer (mother’s name unknown). Little is known of his childhood or of his life in Ireland. In the mid-nineteenth century, Irish Methodist historian William Crook located the Strawbridge farm near Drumsna, on a “gentle eminence” overlooking the Shannon, and from its appearance concluded that the family had “lived in considerable comfort, if not affluence” (pp. 150–51). During the mid-1750s, Methodist evangelists in the vicinity of Drumsna converted Lawrence Coughlan, later a pioneer of Methodism in Newfoundland. Coughlan was instrumental in converting Leonard Strawbridge, Robert’s brother, and probably influenced Robert’s conversion as well. It is also possible that Robert was present during at least one of John Wesley’s visits to Drumsna....

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Washington, George Berry (25 December 1864–30 August 1928), planter and minister, was born in Arkansas. All that is known of his parents is that his father was born in Kentucky and his mother in South Carolina. It is not known if he was born a slave, and while no photographs of him are known to exist, he reportedly was very light complected. Nothing is known about his education; however, he was literate. In 1883 Washington married Ella Roselle at Marion, Crittenden County, Arkansas; the couple had two children. Apparently, his first wife died, and in 1897 Washington married Lula Wright. No children were born to his second marriage....

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Wood, James (12 November 1839–19 December 1925), Quaker leader and experimental farmer, was born in Mount Kisco, New York, the son of Stephen Wood and Phebe Underhill, farmers. The clan of fifty Wood and Underhill cousins had lived on neighboring farms or homes in Westchester County since about 1809. James Wood attended the Philadelphia Quakers’ Westtown School and then went to Haverford College. In 1866 he married a Philadelphia Quaker, Emily Hollingsworth Morris, with whom he would have three children. In 1870 they moved into “Braewold,” a Scottish-style stone house that was built to replace the one that had burned down a year before. The Woods’ oldest daughter, Ellen, a nurse, was engaged to Quaker reformer ...