John Woolman, 1720–72, American Quaker leader, b. near Mt. Holly, N.J. Originally a tailor and shopkeeper, Woolman was recorded a minister (1743) by the Burlington, N.J., Meeting. Thereafter he made many journeys throughout the colonies, preaching and advancing the antislavery cause. Keenly aware of social injustice, Woolman was one of the first protesters against slavery. He personally boycotted products made by slave labor, and was responsible for convincing many Quaker communities to publicly denounce slavery. He died at York on a visit to England. Among his published works is Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes (1754, 1762, repr. 1969). Woolman is best remembered for his journal (1774; ed. by J. G. Whittier, 1871, and P. P. Moulton, 1971).
See study by R. Reynolds (1981).
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Publication information: Article title: Woolman, John. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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