Extract from Joel Bean Diary of 1880

Found at Swarthmore College, PA, F.H. Library June 24, 1998

By Tom M. King of San Jose, CA.


Location:  hidden in back pages of an occasional diary of 1876 are 11 pages dated 1880.  Two small diaries are in the 1876-l880. Ser.2, archival storage folder of the Joel Bean collection.  Both are  designated RG 5. Ser 2. with “Providence. R.I.” at Friends School on their paper covers.  This one includes “Iowa 1880” below the 1876 entry.


10 Mo. 1.1876 Friends School  is the last of infrequent entries before:


===================== 1880 =====================

West Branch, Iowa 5 mo. 22.1880 (a brief entry)


7th mo.15.1880.  Long intervals without record here, have been deeply exercising & proving seasons, in our Meeting & Society.


            Our Preparative Meeting to day was a most trying one, in answering the Queries.  The Overseers referred in the answers  prepared  by them to “innovations upon the established usages of our Society” in our meetings for worship.  This answer so simple & true, a considerable number withstood.  The discussion & tone of remarks have left on my own mind a  disheartening effect, which I have rarely felt to the same degree.  (next page)


It is so evident that a   portion of our meeting are determined to revolutionize our mode of worship, insisting that singing in companies from singing books, that unlimited liberty for reading the Bible by any as is now done by many who incline to do so, are all in accord with Friends Principles, & original practices.

I feel sad in thinking of the Mtg. & desire if I took any wrong part, it may be shown me.  And if I may peacefully retire from all this conflict in defence of what is most precious in our heritage as a people, & may I know it & never be found striving in my own will or armor.

(next page)

7th mo. 26.1880  The night was dark.  (continues with story of Christ on the water--2 pages)

(start next page)

8th mo.11.1880  The Q. M. is over, & the Strangers gone.  Dr. Edw  Young, Jossiah Moms & wife, Caleb Johnson & wife, Barclay Jones, Reuben Hartley etc? were   present with credentials.  (Albert & Mary Tibbetts & Mary Ueader were   present also without certificates) 

     The Q. M. was not felt a refreshing occasion by some.  The appointed Mtg at WB. (West Branch, Iowa) on 2nd day p.m. by Dr. Young & companions (J. Moms & wife) was very satisfactory.

      I attended the Mtg. of M. & E. on 6th day, but was prevented by sickness from  attending any of the other Mtgs.  This on many accounts  was not unwelcome release.  The agitation by  successive comers of the distracting theme & the Scattering teaching which in the last half year have  cleft such rifts in our meeting  are painfully trying.

      I have never more felt the reality of what is indicated by the words, “For thy sake are  we killed all the day long; we are  accounted as Sheep for the slaughter.”  And at the  same time the  blessed Refuge of the sweet withdrawal to  heavenly Rest have been graciously permitted in a memorable degree.

When bowed the lowest a message came from dear Peter Dyhr, that  he dreamed in the night of  seeing me Sitting in a low place, and the Lord  (Start next page)

                                                   said “Say to him, I am not only thy Creator, but thy Redeemer and Savior (sic), & he that trusteth in Me shall never be confounded.”

       It came to my heart as a word in Season, as has been the case on other occasions, with the living messages thro this loved friend

We have had precious visits from Joshua & Marie Hooper, John & Abby Ivy, Mary Meader, Dr. Young & J. Morris & wife & others.

        Dear Albert & Mary  are remaining to visit here & at Bro James’s (BEAN).

(Top of next page)

How I long to be kept in the Refuge, where no strife of_______________? (torpuce.?) nor any thing shall prevail to betray me into wrong speaking or wrong feeling.


(Start next page)

6th mo. 5. 1881

At home (West Branch, Iowa?)  Permitted to  remain alone while the others are gone to meeting and to feel in right today, weary & worn with the strifes and  pursuings of many  who have risen up against me , to Enjoy  worship apart from others in  spirit and in truth.

     My soul has been Exercised and honed forth in prayer to My Father in Heaven, that I might come to His Throne of Grace, & close to His Mercy Seat, where in the light of His countenance I might see myself & my need truly.  I could in all sincerity ask that if I am self deceived, or deceived

(Start next page)

by any means, the illusion might be dispelled and that the Lord would deal with me on the utmost severity of His love and show me if in anything I am building or holding myself up in what is wrong.

      Then did I wait for Him to answer my prayer:  that I might know how I stand before God.  Sweetly than cam an assurance like this. “Thy sins are all washed away.  The Accuser is cast out.  No accusation stands against thee.”   And the  words of love  & promise were  poured into my soul - - “I have  called thee by thy name.  Thou art mine!  I will be with thee, and cover thy head in the day of battle.”  Give thyself to me, & I will care for Thee.

(Start last page)

“Fear not, I am with thee.  Be not dismayed  for I am thy God.”

      I have bathed in a sense of the Goodness, the faithfulness & love of my Savior, who has long led me & fed  me unto  this day, and granted graciously this sensible token of His presence & care, for my refreshment and help in this time of need.

        Keep me, oh my Father, and may all that is within me bless Thy holy (sic) Name, and praise Thee forever & ever. J.B.


===============End of 1880 Joel Bean Diary ==============



Joel Bean’s 1880 Diary was copied into the Mackintosh Computer on Microsoft Word 4.0.  June 24, 1998 at Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library by


Tom M. King

393 Rutland Ave,

San Jose, CA 95128. 

PHONE (408) 286-7157

or E-Mail thom.king@pieinc.org.