The Mary Parker Follett Network

Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. - MPF

An Infed writer (  writes that Mary Follett came from a Quaker family. Does anyonne happen to know if she herself was a Quaker? Joan Tonn mentions that she was baptised at a Unitarian church (pp21/22).

Any facts, thoughts and speculations will be gratefully received!


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The Baxter family held membership in the Unitarian Church where in 1867 Charles Follett and Elizabeth Baxter (Mary's parents) were married by Reverend John Wells who also baptized Mary in 1869.  However, after Charles return to his family after his second abandonment of his family the Follett’s began attending the Episcopalian Church.  Mary was 8 years old at the time the Follett family made this change.  Charles recovery from alcoholism began his commitment to religious devotion in the more conservative faith tradition that he had been raised in.  So upon Charles return to the family the Follett’s began to worship at Quincy’s Episcopalian Christ Church, the church Charles had been baptized in and his family of origin held their membership.

Thank you, Valerie. That's interesting and useful. It suggests to me that the family were no longer Quakers, if they had ever been. the biography starting on page 341 is the trip to Kansas City (in the index under "Unity School of Practical Christianity").
We know that she was spiritually alive... Indirectly - fruit/tree relationship.  Putting her in a "religious group" might be a dis-service.  What do you think?

I have been interested in this question also.   At our Oct 21 gathering in Boston, we discussed this. Despite her interests and vision, no one has identified a direct Quaker connection. Her nephew told Albie Davis that each member of the family went their own way, religiously (her mother was a Christian Scientist).  But, Taylor, Jane Addams, Elise Boulding, other such social pioneers did have Quaker membership at some point in their life.



It is in interesting question, I think.  

It seem from her writing and the descriptions of her life in Joan Tonn's biography that she often thought and acted like a Quaker, and like many Quakers is not defined by Quakerism, it apparently being a free, plain speaking belief system 

I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions.

I hope all those who could make it, enjoyed the Boston gathering.    

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