Old Kennett Meetinghouse

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Forum Home > General Discussion > Kennett Quakers Against Slavery, 1847

Christopher Densmore
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To the House of Representatives of the United States:


The Memorial of Kennett Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, respectfully represents:


Thatthe institution of slavery as it exists in our country, opposed as it is alike to the theory of our government and the precepts of our religion, demands, and we trust will receive, your candid consideration. No question at all likely to come before you is, in the opinion of your memorialists, of so much importance to our individual and national prosperity. The interests of slavery and freedom are always and necessarily anagonistical. Aside from the cruel injusticeinflicted upon its victims, nothing so much as the system of slavery tends tocorrupt the morals and impair the energies of the people, nothing so formidableand obstacle to the struggle for popular reform, to the kindred cause ofeducation and the general diffusion of knowledge, to internal improvements andthe consequent development of the resources of the country, or perhaps to theadvance of civilization, and the progress of free principles throughout theworld. In whatever light it is viewed, whether of principle or of policy, whether with reference to its own intrinsic sinfulness, and to the scriptural injunction to “do unto others as we would they should do unto us,” to “let the oppressed go free,” to “execute judgment in the morning and to deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor;” or with regard to the stability of the union itself, and the multiplied interests, real or imaginary, which cluster about it; still slavery, in each and all its aspects, appears to be an evil of such portentous magnitude as to require on the part of a prudent and Christian people its entire and immediate abandonment. We therefore earnestly ask that you will use all rightful and constitutional means to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and prevent the traffic in slaves between the states, which is scarcely surpassed in enormity by that on the African coats,which your laws have long pronounced piracy; and as you value your own and your country’s liberty, that you reject with virtuous resolution and promptitude, any offered accession of territory without the entire exclusion of slavery from its soil.


And the blessing of the perishing and the answer of a good conscience, shall be yours.


Signed by direction and on behalf of he aforesaid meeting, the 8th of 12mo., 1847. [As printed in the Pennsylania Freeman, January 20, 1848]


July 15, 2010 at 12:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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