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‘ [321] they would cause their overseers to deal gently and mildly with their negroes, and not use cruelty towards them as the manner of some hath been and is; and that, after certain years of servitude, they should make them free.’

In 1675, the companion of George Fox, William Edmundson, revisited Barbadoes, and once more bore testimony against the unjust treatment of slaves. He was accused of endeavoring to excite an insurrection among the blacks, and was brought before the Governor on the charge. It was probably during this journey that he addressed a remonstrance to friends in Maryland and Virginia on the subject of holding slaves. It is one of the first emphatic and decided testimonies on record against negro slavery as incompatible with Christianity, if we except the Papal bulls of Urban and Leo the Tenth.

Thirteen years after, in 1688, a meeting of German Quakers, who had emigrated from Kriesheim, and settled at Germantown, Pennsylvania, addressed a memorial against ‘the buying and keeping of negroes’ to the Yearly Meeting for the Pennsylvania and New Jersey colonies. That meeting took the subject into consideration, but declined giving judgment in the case. In 1696, the Yearly Meeting advised against ‘bringing in any more negroes.’ In 1714, in its Epistle to London Friends, it expresses a wish that Friends would be ‘less concerned in buying or selling slaves.’ The Chester Quarterly Meeting, which had taken a higher and clearer view of the matter, continued to press the Yearly Meeting to adopt some decided measure against any traffic in human beings.

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