A History Detectives fan from Maine has inherited a most unusual document.
The yellow, three-page record dates 1791 and reads, “Act of Incorporation of the Universal Friends.” This document has been handed down through the family for over two centuries.
The Universal Friends were an early, controversial religious group with a woman leader named Jemima Wilkinson, the first religion founded by an American born woman.
Our contributor wants to know what this document means. And was Jemima Wilkinson behind it?
History Detectives unravels the mysteries of this short-lived religious community and visits a 200-year-old graveyard where there is a striking connection to the owner of this document.
Document: Universal Friends
Read the original Universal Friends Society Act of Incorporation document.
- Also with Gwen Wright Chinese Poems Who were the authors of the poems describing bitterness and misery on the Angel Island detention center walls?
- Also in Season 8 Space Boot What does this odd-looking boot have to do with America's first steps in space?
- Also in Revolution: 1754-1820 Independence Trumpet Is a Pennsylvania man's trumpet somehow tied to the Revolutionary War?
- Related Investigation Luxury Liner Picture Frame Is this picture frame a piece of the Titanic, Lusitania or neither?
- Also in Revolution: 1754-1820 Revolutionary War Poem How did this poem, written by an American prisoner in England in 1780 end up in Oregon 200 years later?
- Also with Gwen Wright PsychoPhone Did Thomas Edison make a machine to unlock the secrets of the dead?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.