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An Early Example of Political Action by Women
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An Early Example of Political Action by Women
Edwin B. Bronner

Edwin B. Bronner is a member of the History Department at Temple University.


1. Staughton George, et al., editors, Charter to William Penn, and Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania, Passed Between the Years 1682 and 1700 (Harrisburg, 1879), p. 103.

2. Ibid., p. 197. The law stated in part: "whosoever shall introduce into this Province, or frequent such rude & riotous sports & practices, as prizes, stage plays, masques, revells, bull-baitings, cock-fightings, with such like, being convicted thereof, shall be Reputed and fined as Breakers of the peace and suffer at Least ten days Imprisonment at hard Labour in the house of correction, or forfeit twenty shillings ... if any person be convicted of playing at cards, dice, lotteries, or such like enticing, vain & evil sports and games, such person shall for every such offence pay five shillings or suffer five days Imprisonment in the House of Correction at Hard Labour."

3. Minutes of the Yearly Meeting [Philadelphia], 1681-1746. Department of Records, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 302 Arch Street, Philadelphia.

4. See Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1852), I, passim.

5. The Second Period of Quakerism (London, 1919), p. 270.

6. W. C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism (London, 1912), p. 44.

7. Rufus M. Jones, The Quakers in the American Colonies (London, 1911), pp. 26-29.

8. Braithwaite, The Second Period of Quakerism, pp. 286-288.

9. Minutes of the Yearly Meeting, and General Spring Meeting of Ministers, 1686-1719. Department of Records, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

10. See the following: Mary Sumner Benson, Women in Eighteenth Century America (New York, 1935); Alice Clark, Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century (New York, 1920); Elisabeth A. Dexter, Colonial Women of Affairs (Boston, 1924); Eugene A. Hecker, A Short History of Women's Rights (New York, 1914); John Langdon-Davies, A Short History of Women (New York, 1927).

11. Penn Letters and Ancient Documents Relating to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, II. American Philosophical Society.

12. Probably George and Hannah Emlen as well as Joseph and Elizabeth Ransted were husband and wife. More than half of the signers were Friends, but several undoubtedly were not. See William W. Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1938), II.