Reflections for 1st Month, 2023

Thinking of famous Quakers, historical names tend to be the first ones that come to mind.

George Fox founded the Religious Society of Friends in the mid 1600s. Margaret Fell, John Woolman, William Penn, and Elias Hicks are familiar names to Friends that all lived prior to the 1900s.

While you’ll probably recognize the names of these more contemporary people, you may not know that they all are, or grew up as Quakers.

United States Presidents Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon, actors Judi Dench and James Dean, and musicians Bonnie Raitt, Joan Biaz, and Dave Matthews all had Quakerism play an important part of their lives.

Baez has said that the Friends peace testimony has been a strong influence on her music. About her Quaker upbringing, Dench said “I think it informs everything I do. I couldn’t be without it.”

And if you need one more famous Quaker, how about Cassius Coolidge, the man who created the iconic Dogs Playing Poker painting?

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