The Fearless Benjamin Lay
April 7, 2019 6:22 AM Subscribe
Decades before the anti-slavery movement took root in the US, radical Quaker Benjamin Lay published his book All Slave-Keepers That Keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, which demanded an immediate and unconditional end to slavery. Lay arrived at the 1738 Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia Quakers three weeks later with a message for his Friends. Declaring slaveholding the gravest sin in the world, Lay ran his sword through a book--rupturing a concealed animal bladder filled with red pokeberry juice and showering nearby slaveholders with fake blood. Writing for Aeon, historian Marcus Rediker examines the origins of Lay's radicalism and asks why so few have heard of him today. Eugene Grant (previously) looks at Lay's legacy as an activist and dwarf.
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