Universal Peace Union
Program from the 1901 Meeting, Mystic, CT
Of the involvement of Quakertown in the American peace movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Anna B. Williams in her history The Rogerenes (Boston: Stanhope Press, 1904) writes the following:
The Universal Peace Union having been established by the Quakers, soon after the rebellion [Civil War], the people of Quakertown invited members of that Society to join them in holding a Peace Convention near Mystic, the most suitable available point in the vicinity of Quakertown. Accordingly, in August, 1868, the first of an unbroken series of yearly Peace Meetings was held in an attractive grove on a hill by the Mystic River. Including the invited guests, there were present forty-three persons. The second meeting, in September, 1869, showed such an increase of interest and attendance that the Connecticut Peace Society was organized, as a branch of The Universal Peace Union, and Jonathan Whipple of Quakertown was elected president. (314-315)
She adds that at the beginning of the twentieth century it was the “largest gathering of the kind in the world.” In fact, the “large tent used at first” had by then been replaced by “a commodious wooden structure” owned by the Universal Peace Union (317).
Vintson Ackley, writing probably during the 1920s, says that the annual meetings, begun in 1868, “continued for more than forty years.” He says further:
The meetings were held during the latter part of August. The time was increased from one to four days, and the number in attendance increased from forty-three who were present at the first meeting to several thousand who were often present in later years. (http://home.comcast.net/~schultz3025/vackley.htm)
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