“The Union Forever”

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:
“The Union Forever”

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Chapter 8 examines the experience of northern Virginia's Friends during the Civil War. Friends faced arrest, conscription, and imprisonment from hostile Confederate forces and confiscation of their property by both Union and Confederate armies, particularly after the region descended into guerrilla war. However, the biggest casualty of the war was Friends' peace testimony, which called on Quakers to be neutral in thought and deed. Only a small number of the region's Friends entered the military, but few Friends remained neutral. Seeing the Union as the source of their religious liberty and committed to ending slavery, nearly all the region's Friends embraced the northern cause, with Quaker women taking a leading role. The war transformed Friends' adherence to and interpretation of the peace testimony and their disciplinary standards, giving rise to a more permissive and individualist Quakerism.

Keywords: Quakers; Society of Friends; Civil War in Virginia; Antislavery; Non-violence; Guerrilla war; Civilians in war; Gender

Chapter.  14272 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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