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Archives & Manuscripts

Anthony Benezet letters

 Collection
Identifier: HC.MC-852
Many of the letters relate to Benezet's views on slavery and his work to end the slave trade. Other topics discussed are: the use of taxes to pay for war; the condition of American Indians; his school and related thoughts on teaching. There are references to various Quaker publications, including his “The plain path to Christian perfection...,” “Some observations on the situation... of the Indian natives” and “The Pennsylvania spelling book: or Youth's friendly instructor...,” publication of an Elizabeth Webb letter and Samuel Smith's “History of New Jersey.” In addition to general news of other Friends, the letters contain religious reflections on friendship, the importance of peace, wealthy Quakers, intolerance and inconsistency among Christians. The bulk of the letters are addressed to George Dillwyn (1738-1820) of Burlington, N.J.; other recipients of letters are Samuel Allinson, Moses Brown, Edward Cathrall, Queen Charlotte of Great Britain, John Fothergill, Samuel Fothergill, Selina Hastings (Countess of Huntingdon), Israel Pemberton, Joseph Phipps, Robert Pleasants, John Smith, Samuel Smith, Jonah Thompson and Caspar Wistar. There are also a few illustrations and receipts.

Mss. (includes ALS, AL, mss. and typed transcripts, photocopies)

Dates

  • 1750 - 1936

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).
Limitations on Accessing the Collection This collection is open for research use.

Extent

.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Abstract

A collection of letters of Anthony Benezet (1713-1784), a prominent Friend, philanthropist and teacher. These letters, which are addressed to various persons, reflect cultural and religious aspects, the efforts of Friends to abolish slavery, interest in education, opposition to intolerance and war, missionary work, and observations on the Indians. Mention is made in the letters of Conrad Weiser, George Whitfield, Samuel Wetherill, and others; and there are frequent references to publications in which Benezet was interested.

Biographical Note

Anthony Benezet (1713-1784) was a native of France who became a Quaker at age fourteen. In 1731 he came to Philadelphia and in 1736 married Joyce Marriott. He was a teacher for most of his life and was active in promoting an end to slavery and the slave trade. He wrote and distributed many papers and tracts dealing with slavery, American Indians and education.

(Source for biographical information: Dictionary of Quaker Biography)

Arrangement of letters

All letters (with noted exceptions) are by Benezet and are arranged alphabetically by recipient in folders. A brief notation in included as a guide to topics discussed in the material.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles Evans, 1930; Mrs. W.P. Buffum, 1933; some purchased by Haverford College

General note

[Note: see Friend Anthony Benezet / by George S. Brookes. Phila.: U. of P. Press, 1937, for annotated transcripts of these letters.]
Title
Anthony Benezet Letters, 1750-1936
Status
completed
Author
Diane Rofini
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
ENG

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

Contact:
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Haverford PA 19041 USA US