In 1836, the original principal of the Lindley Murray Fund was established with the residue of the estate of Lindley Murray, who died in 1826. Six trustees were named in the will to hold this principal in trust and to apply the income thereof yearly in perpetuity for all or any of a variety of purposes, including:

  1. To liberate Black people from slavery and give them, their descendants, and other Black persons suitable education.
  2. To promote the civilization and instruction of the Indians of North America.
  3. To purchase and distribute books tending to promote piety and virtue and the truth of Christianity.
  4. To assist and relieve the poor in any description and in any manner that may be judged proper.

The description of purposes is a considerable abbreviation of the will’s exact terms. The will also specified that the trustees should have the advice and direction of the New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, which was given the power to reappoint the trustees and to establish such regulations and limitations as should seem proper and most likely to promote the ends the legator had in view.

When the $42,700 fund came into possession of the trustees in 1836, two of the originally named trustees were deceased, so the Yearly Meeting appointed successors and also named a seventh trustee. The Yearly Meeting currently names seven trustees.

Over a period of nearly a century and a half, ten Friends made additional contributions to the Murray Fund, either through bequests or through direct donation. These donors usually placed special emphasis upon one or more Murray goals. Prominent among their objectives were needs of Indians and Blacks, relief of the poor and needy, promotion of Christianity, and the peace principles of the Society of Friends. One found “religious, educational and charitable objects” suitable language. As a result, the original Murray Fund more than doubled, reaching $91,577 by 1975, in direct gifts and bequests. In 1915, Murray Fund trustees accepted the responsibility of managing the $7,500 principal fund of the New York Female Association and forwarding the income to the association for distribution. Known for initiating free education in New York City in 1800, the Asassociation is an independent organization ministering to “benevolent needs.”

Contributions to principal:

Original Lindley Murray Fund 1836 $42,700
David Sands 1860 5,000
William F. Mott 1867 4,000
Maria Willets 1887 2,000
Phebe J. Sampson 1888 1,000
Martha Heaton 1901 4,867
William T. Travis 1903 2,000
Joshua M. Dean 1913, 1915 8,000
Edward Tatum 1927 2,000
Edmund Titus 1928 5,000
Maria W. Barton 1928, 1968, 1975 15,010
Murray Fund principlal   $91,577
New York Female Association principal 1915 7,500
Total under Murray trustees' investment supervision   $99,077

Functions & Activities

The historical account makes clear that the trustees of the Lindley Murray Fund are responsible for:

  1. The care and proper investment of the trust funds in their possession; these funds were invested in the Unit Plan of the NYYM Trustees in January 2003.
  2. The collection of income from these investments
  3. The disbursement of the income in accordance with their best interpretation of the terms of the bequests

Organization & Method of Appointment

The seven trustees are appointed by the Yearly Meeting upon the recommendation of the Nominat-ing Committee for five-year terms, one or two being appointed each year. The trustees name their own officers and a representative to the General Services Coordinating Committee.

Meeting Times & Places

Trustees determine number, time, and place of meetings needed to properly fulfill the responsibilities laid on them