My personal impression is that Quakers, like all abolitionists, enthusiastically took part in the mental preparation of the Civil War. But when the War came they were perplexed and most of them opted out of it. But this abrupt change of  view couldn't work well, indeed a third of the young men joined Lincoln's army. On the other hand, Quakers were rigorous enough to disown those young men and thus lost a lot of their followers.

Is this historically correct?

What would it mean for actual politics - the tendencies to get a new civil war after the election?

Views: 73

Comment by Rainer Möller on 1st day (Sun)

Adding up.

My first irritation with Quakerism came at a European meeting, American Friends included, who then induced the whole meeting to sing "John Brown's body" fullheartedly. I was perhaps the only one who knew that this was an army song, the most popular song of the Yankee army. Also, John Brown was hardly a  witness of the Peace testimony.

My general impression is that Quakers tend to head for a big conflict which can easily go violent (as if they don't see it coming, but do they?) - but then they veer away, when violence is obvious.

Or even somewhat later? Here I think about Whittier's poem "Barbara Fritchie". Whittier, the proverbial Quaker poet, glorifies the starting war not even as a war against slavery, but as a war for the "union" (hardly a Christian concern). On the other hand, he depicts the Southern army as decent - perhaps a step away from warmongering to reconciliation. Does someone know how Whittier developed from that point onwards? I cannot think that he supported the war atrocities of the next years.

Comment by William F Rushby on 1st day (Sun)

"Does someone know how Whittier developed from that point onwards? I cannot think that he supported the war atrocities of the next years." Rainer Moller

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Greenleaf_Whittier

Comment by Rainer Möller on 1st day (Sun)

As Wikipedia tells us, Whittier wrote a book "In War Time" 1864. Has anyone here read it? It ought to be interesting.

Comment by Forrest Curo on 2nd day (Mon)

As I understand it, a lot of young men -- being young men -- went off eagerly to join in a battle against evil.  They were, of course, disowned by their Meetings.

After finding out what battles-against-evil are all about, and eventually extricating themselves from military life, they generally returned to their home Meetings and were readmitted with considerable sympathy.

(?)

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