Archive | Quakers

Seeds of Community, Seeds of Democracy

The frontier Baptist churches of the 18th and 19th centuries were self-governing democratic communities.  As each new church was founded, its founding members met to draw up a constitution, setting out the articles of belief to which they all subscribed; a covenant, setting out the ways they would treat each other; and a set of […]

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When the Quakers became Baptists

The Black Creek Baptist Church was established in Southampton County, Virginia, during or shortly after the Revolution, on the same small creek where a Quaker Meeting had been established several years before.  Like all other early Baptist churches, it had both white and black members.  The church records show that the members considered complaints by […]

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Forgotten History: The Radical Baptists

Until the 1770s, when the Quakers suddenly turned against slavery, Virginia’s Anglican elites had more or less made up their minds to tolerate them.  But the Separate Baptists sowed terror in Anglican souls. The Baptists arrived in Virginia in two streams, the Regular and the Separate Baptists, beginning in the mid-1750s.  All of them shared […]

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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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Those Dangerous Quakers

  What could be more threatening, to an aristocratic member of a rigidly hierarchical society, than a man who refused to remove his hat for his betters? Who refused even to address his betters as “Master” or “Mistress,” and addressed everyone with the familiar “thee” instead of the respectful “you?” Quakers believed in the equal […]

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