History of Purchase Quarter

Purchase Quarterly Meeting was set off from Westbury (Flushing) Quarterly Meeting in 1745 as Friends moved across Long Island Sound to the mainland and northward along the Connecticut border. Thus, Purchase is the second oldest quarterly meeting in the yearly meeting. New meetings were formed on the mainland, beginning with Mamaroneck Preparative Meeting (1716), and monthly meetings were recognized in succession: Purchase (1725), Oblong (1745), Chappaqua (1785) and Amawalk (1798). During the Revolutionary War, when Friends endeavored to remain neutral in the conflict and Long Island was under British military occupation, mainland Friends were subjected to forced tax collections by the local government and they experienced hardships in passing through the military lines as they attempted to attend yearly meeting sessions on Long Island.


By 1821 (according to Shadrach Ricketson's Map of the Meetings constituting New-York Yearly Meeting of Friends )there were the four above-mentioned monthly meetings and 10 preparative meetings (in Westchester and Putnam counties). The 1828 Separation occurred in Purchase, Oblong, Chappaqua, Amawalk, and Croton Valley (a monthly meeting established in 1804), creating in each instance two monthly or preparative meetings of the same name and a second Purchase Quarterly Meeting. In some cases the Hicksite meetings retained the old meetinghouses and new ones were built by the Orthodox meetings; in other cases, circumstances were reversed. Subsequent declines in membership resulted in laying down of Oblong. This meeting was in Purchase Quarter until 1800, when it transferred to Nine Partners Quarter. When it was laid down members were transferred to meetings in Nine Partners Quarter.


By the 1940's suburban population growth and the movement toward unity among Friends, brought three new monthly meetings into existence which were affiliated with both Purchase Quarters and both New York Yearly Meetings. Fairfield County (now Wilton), Connecticut, was recognized in 1942; Scarsdale, in 1944, and Stamford (now Stamford-Greenwich) , in 1949. These meetings were united from the time of their formation.


Purchase Monthly Meeting was reunited in 1937, Purchase Quarterly Meeting in 1955 and Chappaqua Meeting in 1962. All Meetings, including the three Orthodox meetings, Chappaqua, Croton Valley and Yorktown (formerly Amawalk), became a part of the united Quarter. Yorktown was laid down in 1988. Rye and Housatonic are meetings formed and recognized in 1959 and 1971, respectively. Amawalk was revived in 1977 after a 10 year hiatus.

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