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128 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL SOCIETY. AN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY FRENCHMAN ON AMERICAN QUAKERISM IN PENNSYLVANIA. [Moreau de Saint-Méry (1750-1819) was a distinguished Frenchman who was in exile in the United States, 1793-1798. He was born on the island of Martinique, went to France, and became prominent in the early days of the Revolution. He was a moderate reformer, opposed to violent methods, and thereby incurred the enmity of Robespierre and was forced to fly with his family to America. He lived nearly four years in Philadelphia , having a book-shop and printing establishment first at the corner of Front and Walnut streets and then at the corner of Front and Callowhill. His Voyage aux Etats-Unis de l'Amérique , lyo^—ijçS1- is the record of his experiences and observations during his stay in America. Strange to say, though known to some scholars and historians, this volume lay in manuscript in Paris until 1903, when, through the perseverance of Professor S. L. Mims of Yale, it was transcribed, and then published by the Yale University Press. It has never been translated into English . The following extracts are, with one exception, all his references to Friends. The Quakers were, to him, apparently, incomprehensible , and it is quite evident that he did not come into close contact with the principal Friends of the day. What he says would seem to be from purely exterior observation and from hearsay. His remarks are nevertheless interesting as giving the impressions of an outsider and a foreigner.—Editor.] Burlington and Bristol, Pennsylvania. Opposite Bristol, but on the other bank (of the Delaware River) is Burlington, a town of Jersey, where there are about 200 dwellings (situated in part on an island where are 160) and an academy or place for education. The island includes 1000 whites and 100 slaves. The Quakers form the most numerous 1 Voyage aux États-Unis de L'Amérique, 1793-1798, by Moreau De SaintM éry, edited with an Introduction and Notes by Stewart L. Mims, Assistant Professor of History in Yale College. New Haven, Yale University Press, MCMXIII, pp. xxxvi, 440. AMERICAN QUAKERISM IN PENNSYLVANIA.129 part of the population of Bristol, and it is this same circumstance to which is attributed the atmosphere of sadness [tristesse] which prevails in the place. Pp. no, in. Philadelphia. The Quakers, very numerous in Philadelphia, are nevertheless diminishing, because many of their children leave this communion. Moreover, one sees the coquetry of the young Quakeresses, who know how to combine their affected simplicity with very worldly tastes, which this sect would wholly eradicate. It is to the influence and numbers of the Quakers at Philadelphia that one would attribute the dull customs of the city, where there is also less society than elsewhere. P. 310. The protection which the Quakers profess to accord them [the negroes] is, as with all the acts of that sect, marked with the stamp of an arrogant humility. It is a patronage which seeks a numerous clientèle for its own profit. P. 324. Delaware. (Referring to a law forbidding any slave to be brought into the State of Delaware for sale within the State.) This law not having been retroactive, in favor of those who were already slaves, any manumission is a result of the zeal of the Quakers, and all those who do not wish to follow this movement have not been compelled to. P. 327. Ministry among the Quakers. It is necessary to recall what one knows, that the Quakers do not have a trained ministry, and that any one, whatever may be the sex, who believes himself inspired by the Spirit, takes the liberty and has also the sacred right of abusing it. P. 364. Referring to the planting of trees in the cemeteries of Philadelphia . The (cemetery) of the Quakers at the S. W. corner of Mulberry [now Arch] street and 4th street North has been the first 130 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL SOCIETY. example and that of the Irish Catholics of the church of St. Mary which lies between 4th and 5th streets South, is the second. [Note of 1802.] P. 371. Friends' Almshouse. There is an...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 128-130
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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