Quakerism and African American History

In honor of Black History Month, we took a quick peek at Quaker History to better understand Quakerism’s role in abolitionism. Quakers were some of the earliest citizens to rebuke slavery in the colonies, going so far as to petition the U.S. Congress to abolish slavery in 1790. To put this into perspective, the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which abolishes slavery, was not ratified until almost a hundred years later, in April of 1864.

Women also played a vital role in the pursuit of a more equal America. Lucretia Mott, a Quaker suffragette, was a vocal abolitionist, going so far as to boycott the use of cotton, cane sugar and other goods produced by slaves. Mott also founded a women’s abolitionist society. In addition, Quakers were a vital part of the Underground Railroad. John Hopper, a Philadelphia Quaker, was one of many who hid slaves in various safe houses, and was known for finding loopholes to win court cases to help free slaves.

To read more about Quakers and African American History we recommend: Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice by Donna McDaniel and Vanessa D. Julye.


Anna Hibschman Ferguson
FSA | Marketing Assistant

[email protected]
creative thinking + helping others 

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