We had a wonderful tour and lunch at the Amesbury Friends Meeting House last week!  We learned about Meetinghouse history, history of the Quaker church, aka Amesbury Meeting, and about Quakers. Lunch was delicious and we were able to have some lovely conversations. 
The first Quakers arrived in Boston in 1656 but were persecuted, so early Quakers sensibly settled primarily in areas outside of Boston—in Rhode Island under the protection of Roger Williams, and in Massachusetts’ towns such as Hampton, Seabrook, Salisbury and Salem among others. Salisbury New Town was incorporated in 1666 and in 1668 the name was changed to Amesbury.
The meetinghouse of Whittier is especially important to Quaker history and to the strong desire of more recent Amesbury Friends to renovate it because it is a direct tie with the past and a symbol of the meaning of Quakerism. This plain Greek revival style meetinghouse embodies the Quaker principles of simplicity, harmony, and restraint. At Whittier’s insistence, the windows in what are now the worship social rooms are exceptionally high and wide allowing the building to be flooded with light. This focus on light has special meaning for Quakers since the inner light, the light of God that is in every person, is fundamental to their beliefs.