Quakers and the American Family: British Settlement in the Delaware Valley

By Barry Levy | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE

Quakers on Top

Not every immigrant was charmed by the social and political arrangements dictated by the Quakers' familial tendernesses. In 1695, Mr. Robert Suder, an Anglican gentleman, arrived in Philadelphia from Jamaica. "I not having my health there, transported myself and estate here," he repined, "in hopes to find the same wholesome laws here as in other of his Majesty's plantations; and a quiet moderate people, but found quite contrary...." He found the Quakers "in brawles among themselves and imprisoning one another for religion" (the Keithian schism); the Quakers describing the teachings of his Church of England as "the doctrine of devils"; the Quakers frustrating the defense of the colony; Quaker judges that "would sooner take a Negroe that is a heathen's word before a Church of England man's oath"; and Quaker magistrates who said that "the King has nothing more to do here than to receive a bear skin or two yearly...." "As long as the government is in the hands of Quakers and Mr. Penn as they say has such interest [at Court]," projected Suder, "we that are his Majesty's subjects (which they are not nor never will be), we had better live in Turkey: there is good morality amongst them; there is none here." "They are establishing of a Free School for the growth of Quakerism and apostacy," concluded Mr. Suder, "which I pray God in His due time He may direct; and that we may live to enjoy the liberties of subjects of England, and not to governed by Dissenters and apostates that

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