is book explores the growth of abolitionism among Quakers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from 1688 to 1780, providing a case study of how groups change their moral attitudes. Dr. Soderlund details the long battle fought by reformers like gentle John Woolman and eccentric Benjamin Lay. The eighteenth-century Quaker humanitarians succeeded only after they diluted their goals to attract wider support, establishing a gradualistic, paternalistic, and segregationist model for the later antislavery movement.
Originally published in 1985.
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"Jean R. Soderlund describes and analyzes how Quakers in the Delaware Valley moved from an unthinking but extensive involvement in slavery in the late seventeenth century to a commitment to eradication of this evil among themselves before the end of the eighteenth century. . . . Taken together, the three variables [described by Soderlund] provide a powerful and persuasive framework within which to view the `Divided Spirit' that characterized the Quaker response to slavery between the 1680s and 1780s."--Owen S. Ireland, William and Mary Quarterly
"Quakers and Slavery is an impressive monograph, a carefully argued and unpretentious study that provides the best analysis yet available of the origins, character, and limits of antislavery sentiment for any segment of the slave society of eighteenth-century colonial British America. This is a work of genuine excellence."--Jack P. Greene, The Johns Hopkins University