Archive | October, 2015

The Southern Quakers Confront Slavery

In 1784, a traveling Quaker named Hugh Judge stayed for a night in the house of a woman who had converted to Quakerism, and whose husband was “very kind to Friends.”  In the evening, Judge and another visiting Quaker “had some friendly conversation with [the husband] concerning his holding a black man in bondage and […]

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Those Dreadful Borderers

“Carolina,” wrote Virginia Governor Thomas Culpeper in the 1680’s, “(I meane the North part of it) alwayes was and is the sinke of America, the Refuge of our Renagadoes.” The Rev. John Urmstone, minister of a local parish from 1710 to 1721, described the area as “an obscure corner of the world inhabited by the […]

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Bacon’s Rebellion and the Beginnings of the Racial Caste System

No one would have called Nathaniel Bacon a populist. He was, in fact, an ambitious young aristocrat who thought   that Virginia’s Governor Berkeley and his associates were too common for the positions they held. But in Virginia in 1676, there were plenty of discontented people with grievances for him to exploit. By 1660, two generations after Jamestown was founded,the […]

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