An Address to the Quarterly, Monthly and Preparative Meetings, and the Members Thereof, composing the Yearly Meeting of Friends, held in Philadelphia, by the Committee appointed at the late Yearly Meeting to have charge of the Subject of Slavery
An 1839 committee report by the Society of Friends on the subject of slavery. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.
This 1839 religious tract comes from the Society of Friends in
The tract briefly reviews the history of Quaker participation in antislavery work. At the end of the 1830s, the first decade of well-organized political abolitionism in the United States and one that witnessed the end of slavery in the British West Indies, the authors observe that the antislavery movement “has risen like a stream that at first reached only to the ankles, but is now become as a mighty river, apparently resistless in its course.” (7) The increase in attention to human rights, they believe, is “causing this system of iniquity to totter at its base.” (ibid) They celebrate emancipation in the
The authors pay particular attention to those slave-holders who, they believe, have consciences “burdened by a system which they derived from their ancestors, [and] who find themselves surrounded by iniquitous and restraining laws against Emancipation.” (10) In essence, this committee supports an unsubstantiated belief that there exists a significant class of slave-holders desiring to overthrow the institution in which they participate. Finally, the committee calls on fellow Friends to join in educational and religious work among
- Joe Lockard