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Quakers & Gustavus Vassa

I found it interesting that Gustavus favored so well  the Quakers and wondered at whether this was just these Quakers, in this place, at this moment.  It does not seem difficult to imagine that the Quakers has a great deal in common with the slaves and so perhaps this was the reason why the Quakers became involved in the movement to abolish slavery.

Many Quakers at one time had owned slaves but later a growing movement among them convinced more and more of them that owning another human being was morally wrong. Even Quakers that had earlier owned slaves had always believed that they should be treated well and it wasn’t long until they believed in number that it just was not right at all to claim to own another person.

The Quakers themselves had been persecuted, imprisoned and even killed for their religious beliefs.  Though, their struggles are different in context, the pain and suffering of the black man and the Quakers were similiarly tragic.  Often, it is this bond of suffering that can form an understanding between people who’s circumstances may be different but the relativity of emotion is universal.

Perhaps it was religious reasons, that the Quakers felt closer to God by disavowing slavery, or perhaps it was the similarity of their struggles over time.  Either way, it is important to note that whether Gustavus Vassa had encountered Quakers elsewhere he likely would have still felt a fondness for them above other white settlers in the Americas during this time.

Though Gustavus does not seem to see the connection between his struggles and those of the Quakers, I believe that it still has its relevence.  We often approach the world based upon what we have learned from our own history and experiences and I believe this may have played into the Quakers pull away from slavery.

 

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One thought on “Quakers & Gustavus Vassa

  1. I like what you wrote here about the Quakers and found it very interesting that Equiano grew so fond of them. I think you hit the nail on the head when it came to this type of inner spirituality with god that really seemed to resonate well with Equiano. Thanks for some background info during the time. I think it is somewhat interesting that the majority of the Quakers were one of the few groups a a majority morally opposed to the idea of slavery. I wonder why that is?

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