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 Bettie Page Slide Is this a lost Bettie Page image by Irving Klaw?
- Also in Revolution: 1754-1820 Continental Currency Could this $6 bill represent America’s first declaration of its independence?
- Also in Revolution: 1754-1820 Lafayette China Did the Marquis de Lafayette give this china set to the popular wife of the Patriot Mayor?
- Also in Season 8 Jackie Robinson Scorecard What does this scorecard reveal about the desegregation of our national pastime?
- Also with Gwen Wright U.S.S. Thresher Do these documents disclose information about U.S. secret weapons in the Cold War?
- Related Investigation Red Cloud Letter How was a leader of the Lakota people connected with the controversial sculptor of Mount Rushmore?
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.