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Historic Marker Germantown PA

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Historic Marker Germantown PA

Posted: 1010972098000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1131023039000
The First Public Protest Against Slavery in North America, Germantown, Pennsylvania 1688
Historic Marker in Germantown

"Nearly 300 years ago, four men joined to write a strong statement against human injustice. They lived in Germantown, now a part of Philadelphia, having come to Pennsylvania only a few years before from their homeland, Germany. All were members of the religious group called the Society of Friends, or Quakers. And on April 28, 1688 they gathered to address the issue of slavery.

Francis Daniel Pastorius, the founder of Germantown in 1683, wrote for the group: 'There is a saying that we shall do to all men like as we will be done ourselves; making no difference of what generation, descent or colour they are'.

According to Pastorius, Garret Hendricks, Derick up den Graeff, and Abraham up den Graeff, slavery contradicted the Golden Rule. White men did not want to be slaves. Therefore white men had no right to enslave black African men and women.

In Pennsylvania, Pastorius continued, people had 'liberty of conscience' or the right to practice any religion they wished. The privilege did not exist in much of Europe and, in fact, was the reason why so many people left the Old World for William Penn's new colony. Why then, Pastorius asked, would these same people who had suffered oppression oppress those 'who are of a black colour?'

"By all standard measures, the Germantown protest failed. Quakers continued to practice slavery in Pennsylvania as did increasing numbers of non-Quakers. The Germantown protest itself disappeared for over 150 years. It was rediscovered in 1844, a time when the debate over slavery was particularly heated." (From a facsimile printed by Girard Bank in cooperation with the Wyck Association, Philadelphia, 1983.)

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Lenemar243 1010972098000 
cheryl thornton 1054704680000 
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