March 12, 2019

Author and Historian Katharine Gerbner to Discuss Slavery in the Quaker World During the 17th Century, April 10

Author and historian Dr. Katharine Gerbner will join the Museum of the American Revolution on April 10, 2019 at 6 p.m. to explore the early history of slavery within the Quaker community and how it contributed to modern concepts of race.

Gerbner will draw from her most recent book Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). The discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience and a book signing.

Tickets for “Slavery in the Quaker World: Philadelphia and Barbados” are $15 for general admission, $10 for Museum Members and students (with ID), and free for Museum Circle Members. Tickets are available for purchase here.

Quakers have long been hailed as heroes of the abolitionist movement. Friends like Anthony Benezet and John Woolman worked tirelessly to convince other whites to abolish slavery and embrace liberty for all. Yet, Gerbner argues that this is only part of the story when it comes to Quakers and slavery. When William Penn founded the colony of Pennsylvania, he and other Quaker merchants relied on trade – including trading enslaved people – from Barbados, where thousands of Quakers lived and owned other human beings. Quaker founder George Fox, meanwhile, was radical in his vision that blacks and whites were spiritual equals, but he did not argue for abolition.

This program is presented in partnership with Stenton and the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

About Katharine Gerbner
Philadelphia native Katharine Gerbner is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches courses on Atlantic History, History of Religions, Magic & Medicine, and The Early Modern Archive. Her research explores the religious dimensions of race, authority, and freedom in early America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic world. Her first book, Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, shows how debates between slave-owners, black Christians, and missionaries transformed the practice of Protestantism and the language of race. Gerbner received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. 

About Stenton and the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is an organization of women that actively promotes an appreciation of America's national heritage through historic preservation, education, and service. The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has administered Stenton as an historic house museum since 1899. Stenton is the 1730 country estate of James Logan, Secretary to William Penn. It is located in historic Stenton Park, at 4601 North 18th Street, just 4 blocks east of Wayne Junction. Stenton welcomes visitors from April through December, Tuesday to Saturday, 1-4 p.m.  For more information, phone 215-329-7312 or visit www.stenton.org.    

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dramatic, surprising story of the American Revolution through its unmatched collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art. Immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and digital touchscreens bring to life the diverse array of people who created a new nation against incredible odds. Visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in the ongoing promise of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.