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Liberty and ConscienceA Documentary History of Conscientious Objectors in America through the Civil War$
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Peter Brock

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151220

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195151224.001.0001

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Colonial America

Colonial America

(p.3) I Colonial America
Liberty and Conscience
Peter Brock
Oxford University Press

Ten documents are presented, with an introductory text, illustrating the treatment of conscientious objectors in colonial America from 1658 (when the first cases of penalization of Quakers were recorded for their refusal to carry out militia service), through the brief war of Jenkins’ Ear in 1739, to the Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian War) of 1755‐63. The documents appear in five sections: (1) The first Quaker conscientious objectors in America, 1658 – an account from Maryland; (2) Rhode Island, 1673 – a note from the Proceedings of the General Assembly of August 1673 saying ‘None to be compelled to train or fight against their consciences’; (3) Witnessing to the Quaker peace testimony – three documents, the first, a letter to the Governor of New York in 1672 from some Quakers, and the other two judgments relating to the imprisonment of Quakers in 1712 and 1748; (4) Quakers and naval impressment, 1705 – a narrative; and (5) Conscientious objectors in the French and Indian War – three documents.

Keywords:   America, conscientious objectors, history, imprisonment, Maryland, naval impressments, New York, pacifism, Quakers, Rhode Island, USA

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