Quakers and Slavery


The Religious Society of Friends was the first corporate body in Britain and North America to fully condemn slavery as both ethically and religiously wrong in all circumstances. It is in Quaker records that we have some of the earliest manifestations of anti-slavery sentiment, dating from the 1600s. After the 1750s, some Quakers actively engaged in attempting to sway public opinion in Britain and America against the slave trade and slavery in general. At the same time, some Quakers became actively involved in the economic, educational and political well being of the formerly enslaved.

 Quakers and Slavery was a consortial project of Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Funding was provided by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, through a program stipulated by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). This program is administered in Pennsylvania through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries for assisting libraries in providing all users access to information, developing partnerships, and increasing information access for persons who have difficulty gaining it.

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The American Anti-Slavery Society 50th Anniversary
Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting Minutes, 1754 [extracts]
London Yearly Meeting Circular Epistle on Slavery, 1840-05-20
The Slave
Some considerations on the keeping of Negroes : recommended to the professors of Christianity of every denomination
Maryland Colonization Society Records
Letter to George Washington Taylor, 1854-10-20
Letter from Thomas Garrett, 1861-12-02
Letter to Samuel Fothergill, 1771-10-24
Letter to Selina, Countess of Huntington, 1775-04-10
Lucretia Mott letter to Martha Mott Lord
Letter to Samuel Allinson
Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Southern District Minutes, 1844-04-22 [extracts]
An essay on the slavery and commerce of the human species, particularly the African.  Translated from a Latin dissertation, which was honored with the first prize in the University of Cambridge, for the year 1785.  With additions.
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Minutes, 1730 [extracts]
Lucretia Mott letter to Martha Mott Lord
Philadelphia Manumissions Book
Letter to George Dillwyn, 1779-10
Letter to George Dillwyn, 1781-07
Letter to George Washington Taylor, 1846-11-11