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August 28, 2014, 1:05 am

Stenton offers course on Quakers, abolition

To start off Black History Month, the Stenton historic home at 4601 N. 18th St., will hold the event, “Doing Unto Others: The Development of an Anti-Slavery Testimony among Philadelphia Quakers” on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m.

“Stenton has its mission to ‘develop educational approaches, affiliations and collaborations that inform and engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds,’” said Kaelyn Taylor, program coordinator for Stenton. “Stenton offers programs year round that fulfill this mission.”

Presented by Christopher Densmore, director of the Friends Historical Literary of Swarthmore College, the class will focus on the growing anti-slavery testimony among Friends and its influence on the larger society, from the anti-slavery pamphlets of the 1750s to the creation of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in 1775.

“This particular program is intended to engage visitors in a conversation relative to Black History Month,” Taylor said. “We hope to inform and educate visitors about the role of Quakers in the history of slavery and abolition.”

The course is focusing on the Quaker testimony against slavery, which grew slowly in the 17th and 18th centuries until the 1750s, when the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting came together to make an official declaration that enslavement was wrong. Until the 1770s, Quakers began expelling slave owners of their memberships.

“As a Quaker historic site, Stenton has a special interest in Quaker history,” she said. “Often, Quakers are cited as being at the forefront of the abolition movement, so we hope to shed some light on the specifics of their involvement.”

This event is free to everyone, however it is more appropriate for adults. Reservations are being accepted up until the event’s date; there is limited seating. For more information, visit, or call (215) 329-7312.