The Public Universal Friend, born as Jemima Wilkinson, was a Quaker who in 1776 suffered a severe illness and either temporarily died or was believed to have temporarily died. This person, upon recovery, declared that God had changed their soul and thereafter shunned their old name and gender pronouns, preferring to be known as Public Universal Friend, or P.U.F. for short. Adopting androgynous clothing, the Friend became a preacher and attracted a congregation of followers known as the Universal Friends. One of these followers, Sarah Richards, became a widow and she and her child lived with the Public Universal Friend and she became known as Sarah Richards.
The Public Universal Friend died in 1816, and their congregation, the Universal Friends, eventually petered out by the 1860s.