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New York Yearly Meeting collection of papers concerning slavery


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

In the 1770s New York Yearly Meeting formally endorsed the manumission of enslaved adults. By 1782 New York Monthly Meeting had appointed a committee to visit people formerly enslaved by its members and report on their welfare, and in 1785 the New York Society for the Promoting the Manumission of Slaves was organized, its membership largely Quaker. While all Quakers rejected slavery, members were split on their approach to abolition. After the Civil War, they were active supporters in the education of formerly enslaved people in the South.

The collection contains a small number of miscellaneous papers relating to efforts within New York Yearly Meeting to support the manumission of enslaved people, abolition, and education of formerly enslaved people, 1778-1870. Most are copies of reports presented to New York Monthly Meeting or to the Yearly Meeting, compiled as a reference file.

Gift of New York Yearly Meeting, 1997

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

Report of Committee appointed to visit those Friends who still hold Negroes in Bondage, 1778.
Scope and Contents

Report submitted to New York Monthly Meeting notes that Ebenezer Boman and wife intended to manumit the person they enslaved but the others who were visited did not want to cooperate.

Report to Monthly Meeting appointed to visit formerly enslaved people, 1782-03-06.
Scope and Contents

The report includes mention that Mathew Franklin directed in his Will that $150 be applied to schooling for children formerly enslaved by Friends.

Report from Committee appointed to visit families who manumitted the people they enslaved, 1782-03-06.
Scope and Contents

The Committee reported that generally the formerly enslaved people had been well provided for.

Address to Parliament by the Meeting for Sufferings, 1783 (copy), 1785.
Scope and Contents

1785 copy presented to New York Yearly Meeting by Aaron M. Powell who received it from Susan A. Merritt of Millbrook, NY

Extract of report to Meeting for Suffering, North Carolina Yearly Meeting (copy), 1834-07-02.
Scope and Contents

Recommending that people released from enslavement by Friends should receive encouragement and assistance to emigrate or go North where Friends will assist

David Bishop (?) letter to New York Meeting for Sufferings, 1837-09-01.
Scope and Contents

Urging New York Yearly Meeting to send a memorial to Congress to urge end to slavery in District of Columbia, Texas, etc.

Samuel Parsons report on slavery in the United States (draft), circa 1837.
Scope and Contents

Draft proposal urging the Yearly Meeting to produce a general petition supporting the end of slavery throughout the nation.

Memorial to Congress (published) opposing Missouri Compromise, 1854-02-03.
Scope and Contents

Submitted by William Evans, Clerk, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Circulars in support of education of formerly enslaved people, 1868, 1870.
Scope and Contents

2 printed circulars issued by Edward Tatum, Clerk, from the Yearly Meeting urging financial support for the Freemen's Committee of New York Yearly Meeting.

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