The Howland family


  • Pioneer (1754 – 1831)

  • Moved to Poplar Ridge in 1796. The first Quaker meetings in the County took place in his home.


  • Abolitionist, successful businessman (1794 – 1881)

  • Builder of the Stone Store and son of Benjamin, Slocum adhered to the Quaker belief that the divine light resides within each human being. He provided an Underground Railroad stop in Sherwood; and helped some freedom seekers settle in Sherwood, and others to proceed further by means of his shipping contacts.


  • Quaker stateswoman and educator of freed slaves (1827 – 1929)

  • Daughter of Slocum; nationally known and respected pioneer of women’s rights; received the first honorary doctorate granted by the State University of New York for her work in education; founded over fifty schools for freed African Americans; said to be the first female bank director in the world.


  • Businessman, public servant, abolitionist, equal rights advocate (1823 – 1905)

  • Expanded his father Slocum’s mercantile business; Scipio Justice of the Peace for forty years; two term State assemblyman; faithful member of the Sherwood Political Equality Club.


  • Teacher, suffragist and humanitarian, (1859 – 1942)

  • A graduate of Cornell, she taught in the Sherwood Select School, founded the Sherwood Library, Museum and Hospital; opened her home to the community.

Slocum, Emily & Grant

Slocum, Emily & Grant



The Benjamin Howland family in Sherwood was descended from Henry Howland (c. 1603 – 1671). Henry, a brother of John Howland of Mayflower fame, came to Plymouth in 1632. He moved across Plymouth Bay to Duxbury by 1636. By 1657, “he was a Quaker sympathizer and had allowed religious meetings in his house, which was against the law. He continued to behave as a Quaker ‘or manifest encourager of such’ and ultimately was disenfranchised on October 6, 1659” ( Henry Howland originated from Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England.

Benjamin Howland, the first Howland settler in Sherwood, was a son of Benjamin, who was a son of Nicholas, son of Zoeth, who was son of the pilgrim Henry Howland.

[Slocum Howland was] a member of the Society of Friends and believed heartily in the sect to which he belonged, without prejudice or bigotry in regard to the beliefs of others. I never heard him as though he thought that they were wrong and his views the true ones. He had the same large-heartedness in regard to races, all mankind was of our blood. He believed that our Declaration of Independence was vitally true. “All men are born free and equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” All men,” he understood to mean both men and women.
— Emily Howland