In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews129 Friends and the slavery issue provided a general overview which emphasized the contributions of individual Quaker abolitionists, Soderlund's work focuses on the very early history of Friends' involvement with slavery with special emphasis on Friends in the Delaware Valley. An appendix briefly explains Quaker organization and discipline while another describes the sources and methods used. This is a valuable addition to the history of early Quakerism and abolition which raises a number of important questions about how reform movements influence the broader social order. Wilmington CollegeLarry Gara A Question ofSurvival, Quakers in Australia in the Nineteenth Century. By William Nicolle Oats. St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1985. xv, 409 pp. illus. $35.00. William Oats has written an illuminating, forthright study ofthe difficulties which Friends faced in Australia in the nineteenth century. This careful, objective history of Quakers in his native land may not always please the descendants of some of the men and women he has discussed, but it will be respected as a definitive work for many years to come. The first Quaker to visit Australia was Sydney Parkinson, an artist who accompanied Captain Cook on the Endeavour in 1770, but the first persons with Quaker connections to settle in the region were convicts sent to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and New South Wales in the first third of the nineteenth century. The recorded history of Friends in the Australian colonies begins with the ministry of James Backhouse and George Washington Walker who went out in 183 1 . They spent several years preaching, inspecting prison colonies, visiting aborigines, and meeting with persons drawn to the beliefs and practices of Friends. Most of their time was dedicated to Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales, but they briefly visited Quaker centers in some of the other areas. While Backhouse returned to England, Walker settled in Hobart where he set up in business and became a community leader in addition to providing strong support in the meeting. The Hobart meeting in southern Tasmania was the first in all of Australia, dating from 1832, was regarded as the mother meeting, and is the site ofthe Friends school opened in 1887. While Hobart remained relatively strong through the decades, some ofthe other groups struggled to keep alive. Oats has given a good deal of space to the trials and tribulations of the Sydney Meeting which did not reach a stable condition until the 1880s. He has included the story of John Tawell who was sent to Australia after conviction for forgery in 1814, was active in organizing the Sydney meeting, and was hanged back in England in 1845 for poisoning his mistress with prussic acid. The author has also discussed the beginning of Quakerism in Adelaide, the first meeting created by settlers who came directly from the British Isles. The leading figure in the early years was John Barton Hack who welcomed Backhouse and Walker to the area in 1837. He was already launched on a meteoric rise in business which made it possible to assist other Friends to settle in the area. Unfortunately there was a monetary crash in South Australia in 1841 and Hack was wiped out in the debacle. The Friends were strengthened by the visitation of Robert Lindsey and Frederick Mackie in 1852, and the latter Quaker settled in the Mount Barkar area a few years later. Lindsey, with Benjamin Seebohm, had traveled extensively in America earlier and in 1859 returned with his wife Sarah for further ministry in the United States. Oats also discusses the coming of Quakers to Victoria, lured like many others by the promise ofgold. The Friends at Melbourne were given recognition as a monthly 130Quaker History meeting in 1862 at the same time this status was granted to Hobart and Adelaide. Later in that decade enough Quakers had moved to Queensland to begin discussion of a meetinghouse, and one was erected with British help in 1866. Joseph James Neave and Walter Robson were early visitors to these Friends. The author has described the manner in which British and Irish Friends sought to assist Australian Quakers through visitation, epistles, offers of money, and advice. While a special...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 129-130
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.