Posts Tagged ‘John Woolman’


John Woolman, probably America’s best known Quaker, was born 10/19/1720 at Roncocas, NJ.  He lived a simple life, ran a shop using part of its proceeds to support his views. He traveled widely (for his day – a good bit on foot) lecturing on the rights of the Negro (was also concerned for the Indian).  His Journal (kept 1756-1772) is a masterpiece of unadorned prose included in older Literature texts.  That Journal and his life influencing 19th century abolitionists. 


…the standard of pure righteousness is not lifted up to the people by us, as a society, in that clearness which it might have been… 


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…Wherever there are true ministers of Jesus Christ, it is from the operation of his Spirit upon their hearts, first purifying them, and thus giving them a just sense of the conditions of others.

                – John Woolman, Journal (London: Edward Marsh, 1857), 11.

…We have found it to be our duty to cease from these national contests [referring to “a disagreement between” England and France] which are productive of misery and bloodshed…  

                – John Woolman, Journal (London: Edward Marsh, 1857), 31.

 Things that served chiefly to please the vain mind in people, I was not easy to trade in; seldom did it; and whenever I did, I found it weaken[ed] me as a Christian.

                – John Woolman, Journal (London: Edward Marsh, 1857), 38.

John Woolman was born this date 10/19/1720, Northampton, Burlington Co. NJ.  He was a Quaker preacher and also ran a shop using part of his profits to support abolitionist work.  He produced his Journal (written 1756-72) which influenced 19th century abolitionists.  He died in England where he was presenting his beliefs, 10/7/1772.

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