Early American Quakers have long been perceived as retiring separatists, but in Holy Nation Sarah Crabtree transforms our historical understanding of the sect by drawing on the sermons, diaries, and correspondence of Quakers themselves. Situating Quakerism within the larger intellectual and religious undercurrents of the Atlantic World, Crabtree shows how Quakers forged a paradoxical sense of their place in the world as militant warriors fighting for peace. She argues that during the turbulent Age of Revolution and Reaction, the Religious Society of Friends forged a “holy nation,” a transnational community of like-minded believers committed first and foremost to divine law and to one another. Declaring themselves citizens of their own nation served to underscore the decidedly unholy nature of the nation-state, worldly governments, and profane laws. As a result, campaigns of persecution against the Friends escalated as those in power moved to declare Quakers aliens and traitors to their home countries.
Holy Nation convincingly shows that ideals and actions were inseparable for the Society of Friends, yielding an account of Quakerism that is simultaneously a history of the faith and its adherents and a history of its confrontations with the wider world. Ultimately, Crabtree argues, the conflicts experienced between obligations of church and state that Quakers faced can illuminate similar contemporary struggles.
When Americans today think of the Religious Society of Friends, better known as Quakers, they may picture the smiling figure on boxes of oatmeal. But since their arrival in the American colonies in the 1650s, Quakers’ spiritual values and social habits have set them apart from other Americans. And their example—whether real or imagined—has served as a religious conscience for an expanding nation.
Portrayals of Quakers—from dangerous and anarchic figures in seventeenth-century theological debates to moral exemplars in twentieth-century theater and film (Grace Kelly in High Noon, for example)—reflected attempts by writers, speechmakers, and dramatists to grapple with the troubling social issues of the day. As foils to more widely held religious, political, and moral values, members of the Society of Friends became touchstones in national discussions about pacifism, abolition, gender equality, consumer culture, and modernity.
Spanning four centuries, Imaginary Friends takes readers through the shifting representations of Quaker life in a wide range of literary and visual genres, from theological debates, missionary work records, political theory, and biography to fiction, poetry, theater, and film. It illustrates the ways that, during the long history of Quakerism in the United States, these “imaginary” Friends have offered a radical model of morality, piety, and anti-modernity against which the evolving culture has measured itself.
When members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, first arrived in antebellum Indiana, they could not have envisioned the struggle which would engulf the nation when the American Civil War began in 1861. Juxtaposed with its stand against slavery a second tenet of the Society's creed--adherence to peace--also challenged the unity of Friends when the dreaded conflict erupted. Indiana Quakers Confront the Civil War chronicles for the first time the military activities of Indiana Quakers during America's bloodiest war and explores the motivation behind the abandonment, at least temporarily, of their long-standing testimony against war.
Committed abolitionist, controversial Quaker minister, tireless pacifist, fiery crusader for women's rights--Lucretia Mott was one of the great reformers in America history. Her sixty years of sermons and speeches reached untold thousands of people. Yet Mott eschewed prepared lectures in favor of an extemporaneous speaking style inspired by the inner light at the core of her Quaker faith. It was left to stenographers, journalists, Friends, and colleagues to record her words for posterity.
Drawing on widely scattered archives, newspaper accounts, and other sources, Lucretia Mott Speaks unearths the essential speeches and remarks from Mott's remarkable career. The editors have chosen selections representing important themes and events in her public life. Extensive annotations provide vibrant context and show Mott's engagement with allies and opponents. The speeches illuminate her passionate belief that her many causes were all intertwined. The result is an authoritative resource, one that enriches our understanding of Mott's views, rhetorical strategies, and still-powerful influence on American society.
Have you ever thought you completely knew a story, inside and out, only to see some new information that shatters what you had come to accept as unquestioned fact? Well, Richard Nixon is that story, and Nixon’s First Cover-up is that new information.
With few exceptions, the religious ideologies and backgrounds of U.S. presidents is a topic sorely lacking in analysis. H. Larry Ingle seeks to remedy this situation regarding Nixon—one of the most controversial and intriguing of the presidents. Ingle delves more deeply into Nixon’s Quaker background than any previous scholar to observe the role Nixon’s religion played in his political career.
Nixon’s unique and personally tailored brand of evangelical Quakerism stayed hidden when he wanted it to, but was on display whenever he felt it might help him advance his career in some way. Ingle’s unparalleled knowledge of Quakerism enables him to deftly point out how Nixon bent the traditional rules of the religion to suit his needs or, in some cases, simply ignored them entirely. This theme of the constant contradiction between Nixon’s actions and his apparent religious beliefs makes Nixon’s First Cover-up truly a groundbreaking study both in the field of Nixon research as well as the field of the influence of religion on the U.S. presidency. Forty years after Nixon’s resignation from office, Ingle’s work proves there remains much about the thirty-seventh president that the American public does not yet know.
William Offutt, Jr., places legal processes at the center of this regions social history. The new societies established there in the late 1600s did not rely on religious conformity, culture, or a simple majority to develop successfully, Offutt maintains. Rather, they succeeded because of the implementation of reforms that gave the expanding population faith in the legitimacy of legal processes implemented by a Quaker elite. Offutt's painstaking investigation of the records of more than 2,000 civil and 1,100 criminal cases in four county courts over a thirty-year period shows that Quakers--the "Good Men"--were disproportionately represented as justices, officers, and jurors in this system of "Good Laws" they had established, and that they fared better than did the rest of the population in dealing with it.
On November 16, 1965, Beth Taylor’s idyllic childhood was shattered at age twelve by the suicide of her older brother Geoff. Raised in an “intentional community” north of Philadelphia—a mix of farm village, hippie commune, and suburb—she and her siblings were instilled with nonconformist values and respect for the Quaker tradition. With the loss of her beloved brother, Taylor began her complicated journey to understand family, loss, and faith.
Written after years of contemplation, The Plain Language of Love and Loss reflects on the meaning of death and loss for three generations of Taylor’s family and their friends. Her compelling portrait of Geoff reveals a boy whose understanding of who he was came under increasing attack. He was harassed by schoolmates for being a “commie pinko coward” and he tried to appease fellow Boy Scouts after he abstained from a support-the-troops rally. Touching on the timely issues of bullying, child rearing, and nonconformity, Taylor offers a rare look at growing up Quaker in the tumultuous 1960s.
Taylor tells how each stage of her life exposed clues to the subtle damage wrought by tragedy, even while it revealed varieties of solace found in friendships, marriage, and parenting. As she struggles to understand the complexities of religious heritage, patriotism, and pacifism, she weaves the story of her own family together with the larger history of Quakers in the Northeast, showing the importance of family values and the impact of religious education.
Beth Taylor says that she learned many things from her childhood, in particular that history is alive—and shapes how we judge ourselves and choose to live our lives. She comes to see that grief can be a mask, a lover, and a teacher.
Prior to the Quakers’ large-scale migration to Pennsylvania, Barbados had more Quakers than any other English colony. But on this island of sugar plantations, Quakers confronted material temptations and had to temper founder George Fox’s admonitions regarding slavery with the demoralizing realities of daily life in a slave-based economy—one where even most Quakers owned slaves. In The Quaker Community on Barbados, Larry Gragg shows how the community dealt with these contradictions as it struggled to change the culture of the richest of England’s seventeenth-century colonies.
Gragg has conducted meticulous research on two continents to re-create the Barbados Quaker community. Drawing on wills, censuses, and levy books along with surviving letters, sermons, and journals, he tells how the Quakers sought to implement their beliefs in peace, simplicity, and equality in a place ruled by a planter class that had built its wealth on the backs of slaves. He reveals that Barbados Quakers were a critical part of a transatlantic network of Friends and explains how they established a “counterculture” on the island—one that challenged the practices of the planter class and the class’s dominance in island government, church, and economy.
In this compelling study, Gragg focuses primarily on the seventeenth century when the Quakers were most numerous and active on Barbados. He tells how Friends sought to convert slaves and improve their working and living conditions. He describes how Quakers refused to fund the Anglican Church, take oaths, participate in the militia, or pay taxes to maintain forts—and how they condemned Anglican clergymen, disrupted their services, and wrote papers critical of the established church. By the 1680s, Quakers were maintaining five meetinghouses and several cemeteries, paying for their own poor relief, and keeping their own records of births, deaths, and marriages. Gragg also tells of the severe challenges and penalties they faced for confronting and rejecting the dominant culture.
With their civil disobedience and stand on slavery, Quakers on Barbados played an important role in the early British Empire but have been largely neglected by scholars. Gragg’s work makes their contribution clear as it opens a new window on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic world.
This collection of fifteen insightful essays examines the complexity and diversity of Quaker antislavery attitudes across three centuries, from 1658 to 1890. Contributors from a range of disciplines, nations, and faith backgrounds show Quaker's beliefs to be far from monolithic. They often disagreed with one another and the larger antislavery movement about the morality of slaveholding and the best approach to abolition. Not surprisingly, contributors explain, this complicated and evolving antislavery sensibility left behind an equally complicated legacy. While Quaker antislavery was a powerful contemporary influence in both the United States and Europe, present-day scholars pay little substantive attention to the subject. This volume faithfully seeks to correct that oversight, offering accessible yet provocative new insights on a key chapter of religious, political, and cultural history. Contributors include Dee E. Andrews, Kristen Block, Brycchan Carey, Christopher Densmore, Andrew Diemer, J. William Frost, Thomas D. Hamm, Nancy A. Hewitt, Maurice Jackson, Anna Vaughan Kett, Emma Jones Lapsansky-Werner, Gary B. Nash, Geoffrey Plank, Ellen M. Ross, Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, James Emmett Ryan, and James Walvin.
Quakers and Abolition
Edited by Brycchan Carey and Geoffrey Plank University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress E441.Q35 2014 | Dewey Decimal 326.08996073
This collection of fifteen insightful essays examines the complexity and diversity of Quaker antislavery attitudes across three centuries, from 1658 to 1890. Contributors from a range of disciplines, nations, and faith backgrounds show Quaker's beliefs to be far from monolithic. They often disagreed with one another and the larger antislavery movement about the morality of slaveholding and the best approach to abolition.
Not surprisingly, contributors explain, this complicated and evolving antislavery sensibility left behind an equally complicated legacy. While Quaker antislavery was a powerful contemporary influence in both the United States and Europe, present-day scholars pay little substantive attention to the subject. This volume faithfully seeks to correct that oversight, offering accessible yet provocative new insights on a key chapter of religious, political, and cultural history.
Contributors include Dee E. Andrews, Kristen Block, Brycchan Carey, Christopher Densmore, Andrew Diemer, J. William Frost, Thomas D. Hamm, Nancy A. Hewitt, Maurice Jackson, Anna Vaughan Kett, Emma Jones Lapsansky-Werner, Gary B. Nash, Geoffrey Plank, Ellen M. Ross, Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, James Emmett Ryan, and James Walvin.
Why the title Quakers and Nazis, not Quakers against Nazis? Was not hostility part of the interaction between the two groups? On the contrary, Hans A. Schmitt's compelling story describes American, British, and German Quakers' attempts to mitigate the suffering among not only victims of Nazism but Nazi sympathizers in Austria and Lithuania as well.
With numerous poignant illustrations of the pressure and social cost involved in being a Quaker from 1933 to 1945, Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness reveals a facet of Nazi Germany that is entirely unknown to most people. The book focuses on the heroic acts foreign and German Quakers performed under the Nazi regime, offering fully documented and original information regarding the Quakers' commitment to nonviolence and the relief of the victims.
Schmitt's narrative reveals the stress and tension of the situation. How should a Quaker behave in a meeting for worship with a policeman present? Spies did not stop Friends in worship services from openly criticizing Hitler and Göring, but Nazis did inflict torment on Friends. Yet Friends did not, could not, respond in like manner. Olga Halle was one Friend who worked to get people, mostly Jews, out of Germany until America entered the war. When emigration was outlawed, twenty-eight were stranded. Years later her distress was still so deep that even on her deathbed she recited their names.
Schmitt reminds us that virtually all the Berlin Quakers secreted Jews throughout the war. He shows how these brave Quakers opposed the Nazis even after they lost their jobs and had been harassed by the Gestapo. Risking their lives, the Friends persisted in their efforts to alleviate suffering.
At a time when the scholarly world is divided as to whether all Germans knew and approved of the Final Solution, this book makes a valuable contribution to the discussion. Quakers—despite their small numbers—played, and continue to play, an important role in twentieth-century humanitarian relief. Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness, a study of how Friends performed under the extreme pressure of a totalitarian regime, will add significantly to our general understanding of Quaker and German history.
This book traces the Quaker experience in New England and New York from the Arrival of the first English Quaker missionaries in 1646 to 1790. The first Friends faced considerable hostility, so much so that it took almost eighty years for Quakers and their antagonists to solve their differences. By then, Quakers had settled into a comfortable period of numerical increase, and, to the extent that colonies permitted, participated as individuals in colonial political life. During the early eighteenth century Quaker organizational and disciplinary structures derived from the late seventeenth century underwent gradual evolution, but not to the extent of altering the basically comfortable arrangement that served to promote the growth of Friends. After 1750, however, Quakers throughout the colonies entered a period of reform, a reform that led to a numerical decline in older centers and to a drastic reduction in numerical growth. Reform ultimately caused Friends to sharpen their positions on antislavery and pacifism and led to a withdrawal from political participation. Ultimately, it pointed the way to the disastrous nineteenth-century Quaker schisms.
This landmark volume makes widely available for the first time the correspondence of the Quaker activist Lucretia Coffin Mott. Scrupulously reproduced and annotated, these letters illustrate the length and breadth of her public life as a leading reformer while providing an intimate glimpse of her family life.
Dedicated to reform of almost every kind--temperance, peace, equal rights, woman suffrage, nonresistance, and the abolition of slavery--Mott viewed woman's rights as only one element of a broad-based reform agenda for American society. A founder and leader of many antislavery organizations, including the racially integrated American Antislavery Society and the Philadelphia Female Anti-slavery Society, she housed fugitive slaves, maintained lifelong friendships with such African-American colleagues as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, and agitated to bring her fellow Quakers into consensus on taking a stand against slavery.
Mott was a seasoned activist by 1848 when she helped to organize the Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention, whose resolutions called for equal treatment of women in all arenas. Mott tried to pursue a neutral course when her friends Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony disagreed with other woman's rights leaders over the Fifteenth Amendment, which guaranteed equal rights for freedmen but not for any women. Her private views on this breach within the woman's movement emerge for the first time in these letters.
An active public life, however, is only half the story of this dedicated and energetic woman. Mott and her husband of fifty-six years, James, raised five children to adulthood, and her letters to other reformers and fellow Quakers are interspersed with the informal "hurried scraps" she wrote to and about her cherished family.
An invaluable resource on an extraordinary woman, these selected letters reveal the incisive mind, clear sense of mission, and level-headed personality that made Lucretia Coffin Mott a natural leader and a major force in nineteenth-century American life.
The Snake Fence
Janet Olshewsky QuakerPress, 2012 Library of Congress PZ7.O15628Sn 2012
The Worlds of William Penn
Murphy, Andrew R Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress F152.2.M88 2018 | Dewey Decimal 974.802092
William Penn was an instrumental and controversial figure in the early modern transatlantic world, known both as a leader in the movement for religious toleration in England and as a founder of two American colonies, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As such, his career was marked by controversy and contention in both England and America. This volume looks at William Penn with fresh eyes, bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines to assess his multifaceted life and career. Contributors analyze the worlds that shaped Penn and the worlds that he shaped: Irish, English, American, Quaker, and imperial. The eighteen chapters in The Worlds of William Penn shed critical new light on Penn’s life and legacy, examining his early and often-overlooked time in Ireland; the literary, political, and theological legacies of his public career during the Restoration and after the 1688 Revolution; his role as proprietor of Pennsylvania; his religious leadership in the Quaker movement, and as a loyal lieutenant to George Fox, and his important role in the broader British imperial project. Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of Penn’s death the time is right for this examination of Penn’s importance both in his own time and to the ongoing campaign for political and religious liberty