James McCarty was born into slavery in the late 1710s in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey, before being emancipated in 1744. As a successful free man he accumulated property before he died intestate in 1763. Leading New Jersey and Pennsylvania Quakers then worked to fulfill McCarty's wish that his wealth be used to secure the freedom of his relatives who were still enslaved. It took the Quakers involved almost five years before they achieved their goal because they had to overcome discriminatory laws, enslavers' resistance, and divisions within the Quaker community itself. Over the ensuing decades, they exhibited a persevering, paternalistic benevolence in protecting and caring for McCarty's kinfolk. Their experience in the McCarty imbroglio changed the Quakers' thinking about slavery and emancipation and advanced the emerging antislavery movement during a seminal period on the eve of the American Revolution.


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pp. 282-316
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