Archiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 1999-11 > 0943066827

From: Dick Pennock <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] List owner
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 22:00:27 -0500

Rebecca -

I haven't seen anyone address your question about Quaker abolitionists, so I'll
jump in from the heights of my ignorance.

The issue of slavery was a divisive one for Quakers as well as for the rest of
the country. From what I understand, although most Quakers opposed slavery,
many opposed abolitionists in general and the underground railroad in
particular because they broke existing laws. The Fugitive Slave Law, for
instance, may not have been just, but it was the law. Institutions like the
underground railroad which helped runaway slaves find their way to places where
they could live in freedom violated that law.

Because of such a division in the Kennett Monthly Meeting in Chester County,
Pennsylvania, a group split from that meeting and formed a Progressive Friends
Meeting, which sympathized much more strongly with the abolitionists. (I don't
know if they were "asked to leave" or if they left voluntarily.) The new
meeting was at Longwood, just a mile or two down the road. I was pleased to
learn that my Pennock ancestors were among those who shifted from Kennett to

I hope that helps at least a little. Good luck in your search.

Dick Pennock
Radford, Virginia

R Kemp wrote:

> Okay, here's some of my questions.
> Weren't all Quakers abolitionists? Why were some people kicked out because
> they were abolitionists?
> Rebecca

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