Sunday, November 22, 2015
North to Alaska (with Quaker professor Arthur O. Roberts)
If you are interested in Quaker history and outreach, there is probably not a more intriguing book than Arthur O. Roberts’ famous study of Friends missions to the Eskimos of Alaska in the 1800’s.
It’s a long history, over 550 pages, but well worth the time and effort. I read it many years ago, but still remember the power and inspiration of the tome.
Tomorrow is Growing Old: Stories of the Quakers in Alaska by Arthur O. Roberts. Newberg, Oregon: The Barclay Press, 1978. 567 pages,
Arthur O. Roberts – a Quaker scholar, historian, philosopher, professor at George Fox University, editor of Quaker Religious Thought, recorded minister, poet, and author.
“He later studied briefly at Harvard and earned a PhD at Boston University. It was while in Boston he met a fellow student by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. “It was a sunny day and we sat outside and chatted,” Roberts says of the encounter. “I asked him what he was going to do next, and he said, ‘Go back to Atlanta to help out dad.’”—Sean Patterson
I checked online at Amazon to see how much money Tomorrow would cost, and was shocked to discover that it is out of print, and is priced $195! Whew! (In the past when I wanted to read an out-of-print book, it was going to cost $285 from the University of Michigan. But instead I finally found the book at a used book store for $30.) And Tomorrow isn't available through any Quaker Bookstore.
For those who love history, especially of the Friends, but you don’t have sacks of gold nuggets hidden next to your copy of The Journal of George Fox, fear not, the fine book is available for study at university libraries including UCLA, California State University-Fullerton, Yale, Harvard, Swarthmore College, Fairbanks North Star Borough Library, Earlham College, etc.
While you are contemplating where to find this great study in Quaker history and outreach or planning to dig deep into your gold card, check out this great old country song by Johnny Horton,
“North to Alaska.”
(It’s one of my favorite old goldies.)
Or read an excerpt from my speculative/science-fiction novel, The Feeling of the Earth, whose central characters are Quakers.
The Feeling of the Earth, Chapter 12 North to Alaska
The Feeling of the Earth is available from Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, and Amazon.
In the Light,