Louis Taber’s World: Land, Agriculture, and the Schism of the Ohio Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) of the Religious Society of Friends, 1848 – 186105/20/2011
This paper examines the participation of members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in an emergent national agricultural reform movement prior to the American Civil War. This paper focuses on the agricultural writings of Louis Taber, a recorded minister and teacher at the Friends Boarding School in Mt. Peasant, Ohio during the 1840s and early 1850s. Between 1848 and 1853 Taber regularly participated in an emergent national public discourse concerning agricultural improvement through the medium of the Ohio Cultivator. Following the Gurneyite-Wilburite schism of the Ohio Yearly Meeting in 1854 Taber only wrote for the agricultural press on a handful of occasions over the next three decades. This paper explores the connections between religion and information by elucidating how Taber’s participation in antebellum agricultural reform reflected his own ideological struggles in siding with the Wilburite faction of the Short Creek Monthly Meeting in 1854.