Organization of the Longwood Progressive Friends
In the late 17th C and much of the 18th C . there were Quakers who held slaves. By the late 18th C, virtually all Quaker meetings disowned any meeting member who did not manumit --free-- former slaves. Quakers then became uniformly opposed to slavery.
That opposition did not mean, however, that most Quakers participated in the Underground Railroad. Such actions were judged by many Quakers to be social/political activity, and the majority in many Meetings opposed such involvement.
Two such Meetings were the Kennett Friends Meeting and Marlborough Meeting, where the UGRR support and involvement of a minority of their members troubled the majority. People such as Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall, Hannah and John Cox, and various members of the Barnard family were made to feel unwelcome and isolated for their UGRR activity.
As a result, these active abolitionists decided in 1853 to form a new Meeting: the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, generally known as the Longwood Progressive Friend Meeting. Far from merely allowing involvement in social/political activity, this group encouraged and celebrated such progressive movements and welcomed speakers who were not Quakers--anathema to more conservative Friends.
These Progressive Friends soon decided to build their own meeting house. The Coxes sold the LPFM land for a new building and the cemetery west of the house. By 1855 the house was completed. At this site a host of major speakers on matters of social reform--abolition, women's suffrage, temperance, penal and child labor reform--attracted large crowds, and the LPFM became an East Coast epicenter for progressive change.
LPFM was laid down in 1940, and the building was sold to Pierre S. du Pont.