Black History encapsulates more than a month. This new daily series will take a look at some lesser known events and people in the world.
Protesting is an act that has been going since the beginning of time. There’s been a protest a week essentially since Nov. 8th. The March on Washington is one of the largest and most impactful protests. And America banded together to throw a bunch of tea into a large body of water. How rockstar is that?
But a protest that goes largely unnoticed is the 1688 Germantown quaker petition against slavery. In summation, it was the first protest organized by a religious group that was against slavery. The petition was written by German-born educator Francis Daniel Pastorius and signed by him as well as three others living in Germantown, Penn.
The document mostly argued for the ideal of treating others as one would want to be treated simply known as “do unto others” (the Golden Rule). The signees didn’t think those of different skin colors should be treated any differently than those of lighter skin tones.
Many early settlers of Philadelphia had enough money to purchase slaves for their farms. A lot of the area’s colonists were of German origin, as were the signees of the petition. The document was presented at the Dublin Quarter Meeting. What Pastorius wrote also insisted that the slaves had the right to revolt should they choose. Another unappealing reason that slavery was wrong included that future settlers with the same mindsets would be turned off by the New World.
Sadly, nothing was done about the issue. And, in time, the original document was lost. It reappeared in 1844 -- some 156 years later -- after being published in the Nathan Kite text The Friend, XVII, 125. Then it was found yet again in 2005 at Arch Street Meeting House.