Chapter

The Dissenting Voice of Elizabeth Heyrick: An Exploration of the Links Between Gender, Religious Dissent, and Anti-Slavery Radicalism

Clare Midgley

in Women, Dissent, and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199585489
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728969 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585489.003.0005
The Dissenting Voice of Elizabeth Heyrick: An Exploration of the Links Between Gender, Religious Dissent, and Anti-Slavery Radicalism

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Elizabeth Heyrick's 1824 pamphlet Immediate, not Gradual Abolition challenged the policy of amelioration and gradual emancipation adopted by the Anti-Slavery Society in Britain at its foundation in 1823, setting in motion debates that led to a fundamental shift in abolitionist policy in both Britain and the US. This chapter traces the religious wellsprings of Heyrick's outspoken radical abolitionism. It explores the roots in the milieu of late eighteenth-century provincial rational dissent, where religious and political radicalism were interlinked. It then examines the ways in which her radicalism was strengthened and sustained through her subsequent involvement in the Society of Friends at a time when Quaker women were asserting spiritual leadership through searing critiques of the increasing ‘worldliness’ of the male leaders of the Society.

Keywords: Elizabeth Heyrick; Anti-Slavery Society; rational dissent; Quaker; Society of Friends; radicalism; Immediate; not Gradual Abolition

Chapter.  11201 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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