A Testimony Against That Anti-Christian Practice of Making Slaves of Men
Elihu Coleman, the Author of the following Tract on Slavery, was born at Nantucket, in the 12th month, 1699, and died there in the 1st month, 1789, in the eighty-ninth year of his age. – He was a Minister of the Society of Friends. To preserve the remembrance of his labours, in a cause then comparatively new, is the principal inducement to the republication of a Work, which must have had an influence in enlightening the public mind in that day; and of which it is not known that more than one copy is now extant. The Author himself refers, in his Preface, to other writings on the same subject, and it appears from Clarkson's History of the Abolition, that William Burling, of Long-Island, wrote several tracts on the unlawfulness of Slavery, one of which was published in 1718; and that Ralph Sandiford, a Merchant, of Philadelphia, published a tract on this subject, in the year 1729, entitled "The Mystery of Iniquity, in a Brief Examination of the Practice of the Times." – These, it is believed, were the earliest publications, written by Friends in this country, on this interesting topic. The following piece was written, as appears by the date, in 1729 – 30, and published in 1733; its Author was certainly one of the first publick advocates for the cause of the oppressed Africans, in New-England. The subject had previously engaged the attention of Friends in a Society capacity.