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John Woolman

1720-1772. American Quaker advocate of the abolition of slavery. Born in Northampton, New Jersey, he spent his youth on a farm. He always lived by the labor of his hands, principally as a tailor. Deeply pious, he became a recorded minister of the Society of Friends* in 1743 and traveled throughout the Thirteen Colonies. His Journal reveals a simple character lacking worldly or selfish motives, and conspicuous for an intense mystical piety. He preached against conscription and taxes for military supplies, Negro slavery, and ill-treatment of the Indians. His testimony ended in 1776 the practice by Quakers of the Philadelphia yearly meeting of owning slaves. Woolman died of smallpox on a visit to English Friends, and was buried at York. His main writings, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes (1754) and his Journal (1774), greatly influenced nineteenth-century abolitionists.