The year "the Friend" came out, she was rejected by her Quaker brethren. Accompanied by several siblings, she began to travel and preach to residents of Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. During the 1780's, she lived in Worcester and rode a white horse into Philadelphia, PA to preach, where she drew substantial audiences and grew her congregation of "Universal Friends". She was accused of plagiarizing Documents authored by members of the Society of Friends, and her personal Sign was borrowed & adapted from the Quakers. Several Philadelphia newspapers made especial effort to condemn, expose, and discredit her preaching. Being female in the 1700's made the friend a favorite target for libel and slander, but ironically the grandson of her brother Jeptha Wilkinson would later become the inventor of the modern press wheel.
Wilkinson preached a regimen of strict abstinence, and to be friends with everyone. She implored all to accept the Fatherhood of God. Many people came to visit her and her followers and were taken in with open arms. Many who came to visit were given all the comforts of home and were only asked to leave if they had done something against the Friends.
Read more about this topic: Jemima Wilkinson
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“When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a mans moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?”
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