Imatges de pÓgina










"That best part of a good man's life,
His little, nameless unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love."


New York



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Set up and printed. Published November, 1922.

Hist, Syll Frid

Press of
J. J. Little & Ives Company

New York, U. S. A.


Nearly a decade has passed since the preparation of this edition of John Woolman's Journal was undertaken at the request of the Friends' Historical Society of Philadelphia. In that interval has come and gone the Great War, whose shadow has fallen so deeply upon our modern civilization. To the philosopher of the future, who will command a truer perspective than is possible for us today, must be left the final verdict of its effect upon a great portion of the human race.

In view, however, of the stupendous changes which have been wrought in national and political relations, and of the fact that never before were social upheavals of such magnitude or importance, it is appropriate that a wider hearing be given to one whose quiet voice has still a message for this weary world, and whose meditations have survived in a form, quaint indeed, but singularly penetrating in their sympathetic counsel and wisdom. John Woolman had two great aims in his rather brief life:-the abolition of slavery, and the readjustment of human relations for the relief of the laboring classes. The first was accomplished at the cost of a civil war, and the life of the Great Emancipator. Over the second, which is yet unattained, the world nevertheless may discern faint gleams of light; but we desperately need today the sound teaching of John Woolman. He called his little book a Journal, although in it will be found comparatively few autobiographical details. Such it is, however, in the sense of being the history of the Progress of a Soul through what was to him indeed a Vale of Tears. John Woolman believed it possible "to provide all men with an environment which will best develop their physical, mental and spiritual powers." This definition of social reconstruction is that of a modern English student and leader in social reform, B. Seebohm Rowntree, but it was anticipated more than a century and a half ago by John Woolman.

The circumstances of the early publication of Woolman's Journal are related in the pages that follow. It is less a matter of

regret that the present edition has been unavoidably delayed, since some of the most important facts connected with John Woolman's life have but very recently come to light. The reader should be reminded that the change of date from old to new style occurred in the year 1752. In certain cases it has been impossible to know definitely whether the record quoted has been adjusted or not. In every such case the original is given as it stands; in other cases, the change is noted. The bibliography is based upon the very full one published in the "Century" Edition of Headley Bros., London, 1900, and is used with permission.

It remains to acknowledge with gratitude the assistance rendered the present editor by many kind friends who cannot all be named, but to most of whose services reference will be found in the notes. Death has claimed those to whom the editor's debt is greatest. President Isaac Sharpless, of Haverford College, read the earliest chapters, and urged their publication. Professor Allen C. Thomas critically examined and endorsed the entire manuscript during the summer preceding his death. To the late Dr. John W. Jordan, and to Miss Wylie of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and to Dr. J. Russell Hayes, Librarian at Swarthmore College, are due thanks for their aid with the original Woolman manuscripts in their respective collections. Many members of the collateral branches of the Woolman family have cordially loaned their papers and documents for examination or reproduction. Gilbert Cope, the genealogist, has furnished the facts regarding the father of Sarah Ellis, wife of the Journalist, and both William A. Slaughter and the late Charles H. Engle of Mount Holly, gave valuable aid in regard to the local associations of John Woolman in his home town.

In England the editor is under deep obligations to Norman Penney, F.R.H.S., at Devonshire House, London, where the vast collections of Quaker historical material have been laid under contribution for this volume by him and his able assistant, M. Ethel Crawshaw. He has also had searches made in the records of those meetings in the counties which were visited by Woolman. The late William C. Braithwaite and Dr. R. Hingston Fox furnished valuable information, and to no one more than to the late Malcolm Spence, of Almery Garth, York, is the editor's indebtedness greater. His interest in the work led him to much care in photo

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