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 in Revolution: 1754-1820 Valley Forge Map Did George Washington use this map during the American Revolution?
- Also with Gwen Wright Nora Holt Autograph Book Why did this Harlem Renaissance luminary own a book filled with U.S. Presidents' signatures?
- Also in Revolution: 1754-1820 Rebel Whiskey Flask Is this flask a relic from the historic "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794?
- Also in Season 8 Space Boot What does this odd-looking boot have to do with America's first steps in space?
- Related Investigation Whaling Ship Might a ship docked in Mystic Seaport, hold secrets to the Underground Railroad?
- Also in this episode War Dog letter The military put great effort into a new War Dogs program during WWII. What went wrong on Cat Island?
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.