Joshua Evans Event at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Wednesday, April 9, 4:30 PM
Ralph Greene of New England Yearly Meeting will present a program on Joshua Evans (1741-1798). Evans was considered “singular” even by the Quakers. He was an early and active abolitionist, traveling as far South Carolina to bear testimony against enslavement, he worked on behalf of the Native Americans in New Jersey, his scruples against any support of slavery led him to wear undyed clothes, because the dyes used at the time were produced by slave labor, and he criticized the worldliness of Quakers of his time, suggesting among other things that the wearing of shoe buckles, where a simple lace would do, was vanity.
The manuscript Joshua Evans Journals at Friends Historical Library are being digitized and transcribed as part of a Digital Humanities Program.
Ralph Greene is very active in New England Yearly Meeting and the Friends Church in South China, Maine.
All are invited to Friends Historical Library, just inside McCabe Library, to hear more about the life and witness of Joshua Evans. Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested.
May 14 was the 175th Anniversary of the 1838 opening of Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Hall was dedicated to “liberty and the rights of man.”
Over the next three days the Hall hosted meetings of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, the Requited Labor Convention and the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Stories, some true, that race mixing, abolition and women speaking were openly countenanced in Pennsylvania Hall attracted a hostile mob of reportedly 25,000 “respectable” citizens of Pennsylvania who surrounded the building yelling and throwing rocks through the windows.
On May 17, 1838, the mob burned Pennsylvania Hall to the ground while the police and firemen looked on. Those inside made a speedy exit. Lucretia Mott had been in the Hall and afterwards she and her husband James waited quietly at home for the mob that was coming to burn their house. Fortunately a friend of the Motts sent the mob off in the wrong direction thus sparing the Mott home.
Lucretia Mott confronted mobs several times. On a later occasion a mob broke up the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York City. Mott sent the man who was escorting her through the mob to assist some of the more timid women and then approached one of the biggest and roughest leaders of the mob. Taking him by the arm, she declared, “This man… He will see me safe through.” Mott was less than five feet tall, less than ninety pounds in weight, and a grandmother. The man saw Mott safely though and the next day they had lunch together.
Other Swarthmore College related people associated with Pennsylvania Hall included Dr. Joseph Parrish, the father of Edward Parrish, Swarthmore’s first president and Caleb Clothier. One of the Vice Presidents of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women was Mary Magill, mother of Edward Magill, the second president of Swarthmore College. When Swarthmore College opened for instruction in 1869, the examples of Lucretia and James Mott were held up as examples for future Swarthmore students to emulate.
Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1657-1761
Lecture by Brycchan Carey
Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 pm, Friends Meeting House, Swarthmore College
In his book “From Peace to Freedom,” Carey shows how the Quakers turned against slavery in the first half of the eighteenth century and became the first organization to take a stand against the slave trade. Through meticulous examination of the earliest writings of the Friends, including journals and letters, Carey reveals the society’s gradual transition from expressing doubt about slavery to adamant opposition.
Brycchan Carey is Reader in English literature, Kingston University, London.
Sponsored by The Department of Religion and Friends Historical Library
To the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings of Friends belonging to the Yearly Meeting which is held for Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our Friend John Woolman having wrote some Considerations on keeping Negroes Part the second, the same hath been inspected by the Friends appointed to oversee the Press, and are now printed containing fifty two Pages, and are to be sold by David Hall at the New Printing Office near the Jersey Market in Philadelphia at [sevenpence] per Piece. A considerable Number of them are lodged with our Friend James Pemberton, and with our Friend William Wilson at his Store in Market Street, opposite to the London Coffee House between Front and Water Streets, and if such Friends who are inclined to purchase would at the Close of a Monthly Meeting when Time permits give in their Names to some one of their Members the Books are ready to be delivered to the Purchasers by our said Friends at [4/9]. per Dozen that being no more than the Cost of publishing & binding them. Signed in Behalf of the Overseers of the Press aforesaid By Jams. Pemberton. Philad. 28. 3 mo 1762.
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), Quaker minister, abolitionist and feminist, a founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and the “guiding spirit” behind the First Woman’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848, spent sixty years of her long life working for reform. This symposium marks the publication of historian Carol Faulkner’s new book, Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Woman’s Rights in Nineteenth Century America. The symposium also commemorates the contributions of Margaret Hope Bacon (1921-2011), author of Lucretia Mott: Valiant Friend and numerous books on Quakers and reform.
2:00 – 3:30 Lucretia Mott, Margaret Hope Bacon and the Rediscovery of the Early Woman’s Rights Movement and Radical Reform.
Presenters: Beverly Wilson Palmer, Nancy Hewitt, Judith Wellman and Christopher Densmore.
4:00 – 5:30 Lucretia Mott: Truth for Authority, Not Authority for Truth
Presenters: Carol Faulkner, Ellen M. Ross and Bruce Dorsey.