Did you know Annie Oakley was a Quaker? How about Joan Baez and James Dean? Well they were along with a few other surprising people says this Time article…
Annie Oakley – “The sharp-shooting female who was rumored to split playing cards edge-wise, then shoot through them a few times before they hit the ground, grew up a dirt-poor Quaker. In fact, her early skill with the gun came from having to hunt food for her impoverished family.”
11 responses to “Unlikely Quaker “Heroes?””
Let’s not forget Charles Hires (invented root beer. Hooray!) and John Dillinger — Quaker Sunday school dropout.
Oh my – I had no idea about the rootbeer! I knew there had to be some special connection there!
As a American history guy one of my favorite “a Quaker?!” Quakers is Nathaniel Greene, one of the most brilliant generals in the Revolutionary war.
Of course, his faith came into conflict with the, um, conflict, but oddly enough out of his Quaker convictions. He said, if I remember right, something to the effect that the inner light was leading him to take a role in the war. The pacifism of his local church, however, outweighed assessment of Greene’s convictions and they heartily disagreed with his continuing as a Quaker.
Very interesting Patrick – I think there’s quite a few Quakers who fall into the Nathaniel Greene category of pacifism, I think Nixon’s a great example – the kind of Quakers we don’t necessarily hold up as the example for one reason or another. Though obviously in Greene in his own way was a hero.
Oh and were you on shapethevine yesterday? I was (trying) to help Ryan, I think I saw your screen name.
Yep, Betsy Ross was another one of those.
I knew about 7 out of the 13. A couple of years ago Orange County (CA) Friends Meeting made up a bookmark with a list of Notable Friends on the back.
It includes all those mentioned here plus Julian Bond, Ben Kingsley, Jorge Luis Borges, David Lean, Edward Lloyd, Dolley Madison, and James Michener (and many more).
Let’s not forget Davey, Davey Crockett — Quaker of the Wild Frontier!
Or, as we used to sing (to the tune of the Ballad of Davey Crockett) —
Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
He went to Meeting when he was only three
Suffered in the silence like the kid he be
Countin’ out the minutes ’til he was free!
Davey, Davey Crockett, Quaker of the Wild Frontier
There’s a long list of famous Quakers at Adherents.com:
It also links to an interesting essay about Nixon and Quakerism (interesting if true, anyway):
I can’t believe they missed Dave Matthews.
Hey this is fun!
I learned Scott Simon from NPR was/is a Quaker as well -http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3874941
Does anybody has a quotation of Jorge Luis Borges to sustain the affirmation of his link to Friends?
For sure he was not a Christian Trinitarian, nor a believer in a personal God. He was somewhere in between Agnosticism and Pantheism.