The Gene Pool: JTR's Colorful Family History

About Harlow Lindley's Article

By Stewart Baldwin, Quaker-Roots Mailing List

Date: January 29, 2001
From: Stewart Baldwin

I think that I posted this comment here before a few years ago, but I think that it bears repeating. The first item on the above URL is a sketch "Thomas Beals, First Friends Minister in Ohio", by Harlow Lindley, reprinted from "The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly" volume LIII #1 (Jan/Mar 1944), pages 55-60. I think it should be pointed out that this sketch was not the original work of Harlow Lindley, but was actually plagiarized (with occasional paraphrasing or rewording) from a longer piece that was written in the eighteenth century by Gershom Perdue. It was published in three parts in three issues of "The Christian Worker", volume 1, numbers 2, 3, and 4 (3rd month to 5th month, 1871). I have not seen that version, but it was reprinted with minor editing by Willard Heiss in 1974 (this time with due credit to the original author).

Perdue's original version actually has significantly more details than Lindley's version. For example, there are a number of places where the migration in individuals from one place to another is mentioned, and Perdue actually gave a list of individuals, whereas Lindley did not. There are also a number of copying errors of names in the Lindley account, which suggests that Lindley copied Perdue's account by hand before doing the cutting and minor rewriting and attaching his own name to the composition. (I think that an English teacher who compared the two versions would have no hesitation in assigning Lindley a grade of "F" for plagiarism.) Because Lindley left out a number of things that were in Perdue's account, readers who rely on Lindley's plagiarized version are sometimes missing out on some important details.

As another interesting note, it is clear that part of Hinshaw's account of the first Quakers in Ohio in volume 4 of "The Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy" was based on the same account. It is unclear whether or not Hinshaw was ever aware of Perdue's original version. Hinshaw's account often contains wording that is closer to Perdue's original work than to Lindley's sketch, but seems to invariably include Lindley's errors. Since Lindley was given an acknowledgement by Hinshaw as someone who helped quite a bit on the project, I suspect that Hinshaw used Lindley's notes that were taken from Perdue rather than either Perdue's work or Lindley's published version.

Stewart Baldwin


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