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Quakers Living in the Lion's MouthThe Society of Friends in Northern Virginia, 1730-1865$
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A. Glenn Crothers

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813039732

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813039732.001.0001

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A “Nest of Abolitionists”

A “Nest of Abolitionists”

Antislavery Goals and Southern Identities

(p.204) 7 A “Nest of Abolitionists”
Quakers Living in the Lion's Mouth

A. Glenn Crothers

University Press of Florida

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

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