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Simplicity, Equality, and SlaveryAn Archaeology of Quakerism in the British Virgin Islands, 1740-1780$
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John M. Chenoweth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400110

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400110.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Reconsidering Simplicity, Equality, Peace, and the End of the Meeting

Reconsidering Simplicity, Equality, Peace, and the End of the Meeting

(p.174) Chapter 8 Reconsidering Simplicity, Equality, Peace, and the End of the Meeting
Simplicity, Equality, and Slavery

John M. Chenoweth

University Press of Florida

Divisions within the Tortola meeting are brought to a head in this concluding chapter. In effect, two differing ideas of the Quaker community grew over the course of the meeting. Some considered it as one of mutual support which complemented connections to non-Quaker neighbors, while others emphasized the separateness of Quakers: a chosen few among the sinful majority of “world’s people.” There were also economic and social elements to this division. This closing chapter thus attempts to address one of the central issues remaining about the meeting: its end. Although previous writers have assumed that a simple incompatibility between Quakerism and slavery led to the end of the meeting, this chapter counters this suggestion and makes a new argument. Lastly, this chapter will reflect on the nature of religious communities as revealed by moving back and forth between archaeology and written documents. Religious ideals are performed and created in daily practice in particular local contexts, creating variation and creativity, as shown for the Tortola Quaker community. These differences, this chapter suggests, are a fundamental part of the religion rather than footnotes or hypocrisy, and archaeology is key to understanding them, focused as it is on mundane practice.

Keywords:   Tortola Meeting, Quakerism, British Virgin Islands, Slavery

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