Commonplace Book #45

Quaker prominence in Philadelphia’s cultural institutions has been the source of some confusion and tension in assembling, preserving, and presenting documents and artifacts of the revolutionary era.  To put the matter bluntly, the American Revolution was a frightful ordeal, the most traumatic chapter in their history.  As principled pacifists, they refused to fight or even pay taxes for the war, and many of them were suspected of collaborating or at least sympathizing with the British because of close mercantile ties to overseas partners.  On both country they were reviled, ostracized, and in some cases exiled.  All were disenfranchised, and only slowly in the postrevolutionary period did Pennsylvania put aside their wartime disgust with the Quakers

Gary Nash, First City: Philadelphia and the Forging of Historical Memory, 81.

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