Quakers and Abolition

University of Illinois Press
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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.

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About the author

Brycchan Carey is a reader in English literature at Kingston University, London, and the author of Peace to Freedom: Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1658-1761.

Geoffrey Plank is a professor of history at the University of East Anglia and the author of John Woolman's Path to the Peaceable Kingdom: A Quaker in the British Empire.


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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Mar 30, 2014
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780252096129
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christianity / Quaker
Religion / General
Social Science / Slavery
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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New York Times Bestseller

A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade—abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States.

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.

In the summer of 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, the grandson of England's King James II, landed on the western coast of Scotland intending to overthrow George II and restore the Stuart family to the throne. He gathered thousands of supporters, and the insurrection he led—the Jacobite Rising of 1745—was a crisis not only for Britain but for the entire British Empire. Rebellion and Savagery examines the 1745 rising and its aftermath on an imperial scale.

Charles Edward gained support from the clans of the Scottish Highlands, communities that had long been derided as primitive. In 1745 the Jacobite Highlanders were denigrated both as rebels and as savages, and this double stigma helped provoke and legitimate the violence of the government's anti-Jacobite campaigns. Though the colonies stayed relatively peaceful in 1745, the rising inspired fear of a global conspiracy among Jacobites and other suspect groups, including North America's purported savages.

The defeat of the rising transformed the leader of the army, the Duke of Cumberland, into a popular hero on both sides of the Atlantic. With unprecedented support for the maintenance of peacetime forces, Cumberland deployed new garrisons in the Scottish Highlands and also in the Mediterranean and North America. In all these places his troops were engaged in similar missions: demanding loyalty from all local inhabitants and advancing the cause of British civilization. The recent crisis gave a sense of urgency to their efforts. Confident that "a free people cannot oppress," the leaders of the army became Britain's most powerful and uncompromising imperialists.

Geoffrey Plank argues that the events of 1745 marked a turning point in the fortunes of the British Empire by creating a new political interest in favor of aggressive imperialism, and also by sparking discussion of how the British should promote market-based economic relations in order to integrate indigenous peoples within their empire. The spread of these new political ideas was facilitated by a large-scale migration of people involved in the rising from Britain to the colonies, beginning with hundreds of prisoners seized on the field of battle and continuing in subsequent years to include thousands of men, women and children. Some of the migrants were former Jacobites and others had stood against the insurrection. The event affected all the British domains.

The former French colony of Acadia—permanently renamed Nova Scotia by the British when they began an ambitious occupation of the territory in 1710—witnessed one of the bitterest struggles in the British empire. Whereas in its other North American colonies Britain assumed it could garner the sympathies of fellow Europeans against the native peoples, in Nova Scotia nothing was further from the truth. The Mi'kmaq, the native local population, and the Acadians, descendants of the original French settlers, had coexisted for more than a hundred years prior to the British conquest, and their friendships, family ties, common Catholic religion, and commercial relationships proved resistant to British-enforced change. Unable to seize satisfactory political control over the region, despite numerous efforts at separating the Acadians and Mi'kmaq, the authorities took drastic steps in the 1750s, forcibly deporting the Acadians to other British colonies and systematically decimating the remaining native population.

The story of the removal of the Acadians, some of whose descendants are the Cajuns of Louisiana, and the subsequent oppression of the Mi'kmaq has never been completely told. In this first comprehensive history of the events leading up to the ultimate break-up of Nova Scotian society, Geoffrey Plank skillfully unravels the complex relationships of all of the groups involved, establishing the strong bonds between the Mi'kmaq and Acadians as well as the frustration of the British administrators that led to the Acadian removal, culminating in one of the most infamous events in North American history.

In the summer of 1745, Charles Edward Stuart, the grandson of England's King James II, landed on the western coast of Scotland intending to overthrow George II and restore the Stuart family to the throne. He gathered thousands of supporters, and the insurrection he led—the Jacobite Rising of 1745—was a crisis not only for Britain but for the entire British Empire. Rebellion and Savagery examines the 1745 rising and its aftermath on an imperial scale.

Charles Edward gained support from the clans of the Scottish Highlands, communities that had long been derided as primitive. In 1745 the Jacobite Highlanders were denigrated both as rebels and as savages, and this double stigma helped provoke and legitimate the violence of the government's anti-Jacobite campaigns. Though the colonies stayed relatively peaceful in 1745, the rising inspired fear of a global conspiracy among Jacobites and other suspect groups, including North America's purported savages.

The defeat of the rising transformed the leader of the army, the Duke of Cumberland, into a popular hero on both sides of the Atlantic. With unprecedented support for the maintenance of peacetime forces, Cumberland deployed new garrisons in the Scottish Highlands and also in the Mediterranean and North America. In all these places his troops were engaged in similar missions: demanding loyalty from all local inhabitants and advancing the cause of British civilization. The recent crisis gave a sense of urgency to their efforts. Confident that "a free people cannot oppress," the leaders of the army became Britain's most powerful and uncompromising imperialists.

Geoffrey Plank argues that the events of 1745 marked a turning point in the fortunes of the British Empire by creating a new political interest in favor of aggressive imperialism, and also by sparking discussion of how the British should promote market-based economic relations in order to integrate indigenous peoples within their empire. The spread of these new political ideas was facilitated by a large-scale migration of people involved in the rising from Britain to the colonies, beginning with hundreds of prisoners seized on the field of battle and continuing in subsequent years to include thousands of men, women and children. Some of the migrants were former Jacobites and others had stood against the insurrection. The event affected all the British domains.

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