A “Nest of Abolitionists”

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:
A “Nest of Abolitionists”

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This chapter examines Quaker antislavery after 1830, arguing that Friends' activism was constrained by the white community's growing intolerance of dissent and by Friends' economic and cultural attachment to the region. Many Friends also became convinced that the tactics of northern abolitionists would incite violence, threatening Quakers' commitment to pacifism and antislavery. Consequently, northern Virginia Friends promoted educational reform, economic development, and agricultural improvement, believing such reforms would appeal to the self-interest of white Virginians while promoting a free labor economy. At some personal risk, Friends also aided the free black and enslaved community of the region. Quakers' efforts helped to destabilize the institution and unnerve local slaveholders, who, in response, threatened local Friends with arrest and violence.

Keywords: Quakers; Society of Friends; Antebellum Virginia; Antislavery; Sectional crisis; Agricultural improvement; Economic development; Educational reform; Free labor

Chapter.  13588 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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