February 17, 2008

From the Winchester Newspaper:

"March 22 1905

The  Ladies  Aid  Society  of  the Friends church will serve dinner and supper tomorrow (Thursday)   in   the   room south   of   Mann’s   meat market. Chicken, dumplings, gravey,  salt   rising bread   and everything else good to eat. Dinner  from  11-2,   and supper   from 5-7.   Price  25  cents.    All  are   invited."


FEB. 17, 2008   11:30 AM 












Why Salt-rising bread?

Until the early 1800’s bread baking and beer making were linked together by one ingredient, yeast, which home bakers would get from their local brewers.  But by the 1830’s brewer’s yeast came under scrutiny from the temperance movement, which wanted to ban all alcohol.  As a result of the anti-alcohol fervor, bakers started to use alternative leaveners.  Pearl ash and saleratus had been used for more than a hundred years to leaven thin batters, but they were undependable for breads and biscuits and produced off-flavors. In 1846 Arm &Hammer Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) was created and in 1898 baking powder (combination of baking soda and a powdered acid) was mass produced.

There is no real explanation of why the Ladies Aid Society of Winchester Friends made salt-rising bread a selling point of their dinner, but it stands to reason that advertising salt-rising bread suggests loyalty with the Temperance movement in Winchester at that time (below is a timeline.)

Salt-rising bread is one of the oldest breads in this country and comes from a starter of cornmeal, raw potato, a teaspoon of sugar and a ˝ teaspoon of salt left to ferment in hot water.  The salt is there for the purpose of suppressing yeast growth.  The starter takes on a very sour, distinct flavor and smell after sitting for 24 hours.

1830 – First temperance meeting in Randolph County in the court house

1847 – 80 Winchester Women, led by 17 year old Amanda Way, emptied all the liquor barrels in town.

1871 – Amanda Way became the first licensed woman preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

1873 – Friends in Winchester town begin meeting at the court house under the direction of Elkanah and Irena Beard

1875-  Women’s Christian Temperance Union was formed in Indianapolis

1880 - The ME church decides to stop the practice of licensing women preachers. 

1884 – Amanda Way joins Winchester Friends Meeting

1898 – Present meeting house built

Josh Robinson and Lindsey Garza going through the line after helping with serving drinks. Clarence Kritsch and Lois Hogg

Barney Thompson and Georgia Thorpe

Marty Sulek presents some of his research on : 

The Last Romantic War, The First Modern War

The Crimean War of 1854-1856

And The Genesis of Contemporary Wartime Humanitarian Relief

 Marty’s presentation highlighted events of the Crimean War that changed our world.  From the Crimean War came Florence Nightingale and the Sisters of Mercy, the first war correspondents, the first use of steamships for faster transportation, and the first war where the telegraph was used as a mode of communication. And the first time during wartime conditions, surgery was done with the aid of chloroform.

 Marty focused much of his time with us on the peace testimony of Quakers in England preceding the war (a peace delegation headed by Joseph Sturge went to St. Petersburg and the court of Nicholas I just before the war broke out) and the Quaker invention of civilian wartime humanitarian relief. 

 Quakers played a leadership role in the London Peace Conference in 1851 before the war started.  Of the 969 delegates to the Congress, 207 were members of the Religious Society of Friends. In the 1850s, there were approximately 22,000 members of the Society of Friends in the British Isles, the total population of which was 20,960,000 at that time. While Friends thus composed only one-tenth of one percent of Great Britain’s population, they constituted approximately twenty-two percent of the delegates to the Peace Congress.

 More revealing than their absolute numbers, is the leadership role Quakers played in the early years of the Congress. There are eight identifiable authors of the various tracts published by the Congress advocating the cause of peace. Of these eight authors, four were Friends: Jonathan Dymond (1796-1828), Joseph John Gurney (1788-1847), Thomas Hancock (1783-1849), and Evan Rees (1790-1821). Not only was each of these men a Quaker, they were highly active and influential leaders in the Society of Friends. Gurney, in particular, exercised wide influence among more traditional Biblically minded Friends, particularly among Orthodox Friends in America, who in 1827 split from the more modernist Hicksite branch of Friends, centered in Philadelphia.

Once the war began Quakers saw a need for a new form of humanitarian relief that targeted innocent civilian victims of war among the population of a recent enemy. Countries had always come to the support of their own people and armies through a variety of means during war, but rarely had people spontaneously helped to relieve and compensate the victims of war among the civilian population of a recent enemy.  Joseph Sturge headed a Quaker initiative to relieve famine among the civilian population of Finland in the winter of 1856-7 in the aftermath of the Crimean War.   

The Quaker appeal eventually raised nearly ₤9,000 for the relief of famine in Finland, with most, though not all, of the contributions coming from members of the Society of Friends. The Society also administered the funds raised, purchasing “necessities of all kinds, corn, meal, potatoes, ‘clothing for naked children,’ seed-corn for future harvests, fishing nets,” for distribution among the Finnish people.

 Marty’s paper will be printed and will be available in the church’s library.