Review Of "Quakers Living In The Lion's Mouth: The Society Of Friends In Northern Virginia, 1730-1865" By A. G. Crothers

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This thoroughly researched, clearly written monograph on the small Quaker communities (2,000 members at most) in northern Virginia illuminates themes of major importance in southern history: initial patterns of colonization, economic development, freeing slaves, migration to Ohio, religious schism, expanding roles of women, antislavery agitation, the impact of three wars (American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War), and the varying degrees over time of acceptance and distrust of dissenters. Crothers (Univ. of Louisville) argues that Virginia Quakers freed their slaves during the Revolution and supported manumission societies in the New Republic, but after 1830 they opposed the tactics and demands of northern abolitionists for immediate emancipation. Friends supported schools for black children, defended the rights of free Negroes, insisted that colonization to Africa or elsewhere required the consent of those migrating, and stressed the advantages of using free labor of both races to improve the South. As a respected member of southern society, Samuel Janney continued to publish antislavery articles until the 1850s. Even while operating within the constraints of a patriarchal slave culture, Quaker women and men created and preserved an alternative pattern of middle-class culture with substantial equality for women in the family and religion. A first-rate book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.


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