Strengthening the Bonds of Fellowship

A. Glenn Crothers

in Quakers Living in the Lion's Mouth

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039732
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043142 | DOI:
Strengthening the Bonds of Fellowship

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Chapter 6 considers the impact of western movement on northern Virginia's Quaker women. Migration disrupted economic bonds forged by Quaker merchants and farmers and produced a growing gender imbalance as single male Friends moved west. In response, more women-buoyed by Friends' belief in gender spiritual equality-took on positions of responsibility within the local, quarterly, and yearly meetings, and more women attended and became teachers of Quaker schools. By the 1860s Quaker women demanded full gender equality within the meetings. At the same time, women's social networks and association building helped sustain the bonds of northern Virginia's Quaker community. Still, Quaker women could not escape entirely the pervasive gender and racial values of the region, which limited their social activism and shaped relations with their black domestic servants.

Keywords: Quakers; Society of Friends; Antebellum Virginia; Western migration; Religious women; Gender equality; Domesticity; Female education

Chapter.  13750 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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