John Woolman: Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes

(1754)

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Impact

Evidence that Woolman succeeded emerged shortly after he presented his tract to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Rather than reject him, as they had prior opponents of slavery, Quaker leaders authorized his work for general publication to Quaker communities both in the American colonies and England, declaring it the official position of the Virginia Yearly Meeting in 1754. This marked a significant departure from past accommodations on the question of slavery, ushering in a new...