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Sunderland P. Gardner

Photograph of Sunderland P. Gardner Autobiography of Sunderland P. Gardner Journal, Supplemented by Letters Letters of Sunderland P. Gardner Sermons of Sunderland P. Gardner Grave of Sunderland P. Gardner Annette (Bell) Gardner, wife of Sunderland P. Gardner

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Sunderland P. Gardner, a well-known 19th-century Quaker minister from Farmington, Ontario Co., NY, was highly respected as a speaker, especially at funerals, and traveled extensively throughout Northern USA and Canada. His autobiography offers a fascinating glimpse into the pioneering spirit of the late 18th-century and early 19th-century settlers into Western New York State. His journal, describing his ministry among the inhabitants of the region, and emphasizing his work at funerals, contains an interesting and inspirational view of Quaker life and thought during the past century.


Photograph of Sunderland P. Gardner.

Autobiography of Sunderland P. Gardner:

Autobiography, Part One.  Gardner describes his family heritage, including the story of the Indian massacre of the Utter branch of his family in Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania.

Autobiography, Part Two.  Gardner describes his devotion to his mother, Sarah (Pattison) Gardner.

Autobiography, Part Three.  Chronicles Gardner's journey to the Genesee Country with his parents by horse and wagon in 1814, when he was 13 years old, and includes his initial impression of Quakerism.

Notes in continuation of Autobiography, by A. H. Gardner.  Gardner's wife, Annette, writes of her husband's final days.

Letter giving some account of the Ancestry of Sunderland P. Gardner.  In this extraordinary letter, Gardner records his ancestry back to 17th-century Colonial America. In an addendum to the letter, Gardner's wife attests to his relation to Mary Dyer, Quaker martyr, and relates the story of the persecution of his Quaker ancestor Herodias Long.

Journal of Sunderland P. Gardner:

Journal, Supplemented by Extracts from his Letters.  From one of Gardner's many visits to Michigan, he describes his encounter with "back-slidden" Quakers.

Journal, Part Two.  Gardner relates some of his differences with Orthodox Quakers of the time, and his thoughts on repeating words at Meetings until there "seemed to be no life in them."

Journal, Part Three.  Gardner describes several upstate New York Meetings, including a description of Niagara Falls as it appeared during the nineteenth century and a lament of the passing of Native Americans from the area. 

Journal, Part Four.  Gardner writes of several funerals, including that of a recently widowed neighbor. Also included is an interesting record of his visit to Auburn State Prison in September of 1856.

Journal, Part Five.  In a letter to his wife, Gardner writes of his homesickness while attending the Chatham Quarterly Meeting and reflects on the slang, profanity and confusion of large-city life.

Journal, Part Six.  Gardner writes about a great snowstorm and the extraordinary efforts that were necessary to attend a distant funeral the following morning.

Journal, Part Seven.  On the occasion of his 55th birthday in 1857, Gardner reflects on his life, the death of his mother, and his relationship with his father. He also writes of several funerals, including the funeral of a pair of infants.

Journal, Part Eight.  Gardner writes with eloquence of the power of love; and again records his experiences at several funerals, writing at some length of the character of a ninety-two-year-old neighbor. He also writes of the Rochester (NY) Monthly Meeting and his impatience with a tedious subject.

Journal, Part Nine.  On his 56th birthday (1858), Gardner expresses his thoughts that without a belief in a "power superior to (his) own", he would not have been able to endure the "deep probation and close trials" of the previous year.

Journal, Part Ten.  In a letter to his wife, Gardner writes of his journey to Michigan and Canada, to speak to various groups of Quakers. Gardner experiences great doubt as to his ability to reach his listeners, but is able to overcome his fears and speaks with success.

Journal, Part Eleven.  In a letter to his wife from Battle Creek, Michigan, Gardner writes of his experience with "the ranters" and his need to speak plainly in order to preach faithful testimony.

Journal, Part Twelve. Gardner continues the chronicle of his journey to Michigan and Ohio, describing Meetings of various hospitalities and beliefs.

Letters of Sunderland P. Gardner: Coming soon.

Sermons of Sunderland P. Gardner:

Sermon 1. To the Youth and Children of the Religious Society of Friends, within the compass of Genesee Yearly Meeting, 1846.

Sermon 2. In 1860, at the funeral of Damaris Hoag, Gardner speaks on the issue of original sin, the difference between a religion of the head and a religion of the heart, and of the nature of prayer.

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