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1660 Quaker Letter John Smith to Joshua Buffum and Others at Shelter Island


Photo: Nathaniel Sylvester monument on Shelter Island, New York. Credit: Bridge and Tunnel Club


In 1854 the Albany Evening Journal reprinted a letter dated 4 September 1660, written by John Smith from the House of Correction in Boston, Massachusetts, to Joshua Buffum and others at Shelter Island, New York.

Smith and Buffum, residents of Salem, Massachusetts, were Quakers who endured persecution for their faith. In this letter Smith summarized the plight of the Quakers in Massachusetts to his Friends seeking refuge (after banishment from Salem) at Shelter Island on the land of Nathaniel Sylvester, the “Lord of Shelter” for many 17th century persecuted Quakers. Smith married Margaret, sister of Joshua. Buffum, along with Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick and their son Josiah, were ordered by the court in March 1659 to depart the colony or suffer pain of death. Read More of my story 1660 Quaker Letter

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