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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Before 1760 many British and American Quakers owned slaves and some engaged in the slave trade. Advice emphasized humane treatment and cautioned against judging others; anti-slavery advocates were marginalized. After 1740, reformers argued that slavery harmed slaveowners’ moral character, and anti-slavery tracts were published with meeting permission. In 1758 London Yearly Meeting condemned slave trading; American Meetings followed. By the 1770s, most Meetings disowned Friends who refused to manumit their slaves. Friends played key roles in British and American abolition movements, though some opposed immediate emancipation. Friends assisted freed and freedom-seeking African-Americans, but few invited them into their homes or Meetings. From 1920 on, many American Friends joined organizations promoting civil rights and racial justice, and Quaker schools gradually integrated. By 2000 a majority of Friends worldwide were non-white, with many Friends of colour in leadership positions.

Keywords: abolition, anti-slavery, civil rights, racial justice, slave trade, slavery

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