“Force may subdue, but love gains, and he that forgives first wins the laurel.” – William Penn

The Quakers are the original American rebels. Rebels are celebrated in American culture: the Founding Fathers, civil rights leaders, suffragettes, and abolitionists. These people are lauded for seeing societal norms and actively carving and advocating for a different, better life. These stories are often accompanied by tales of brutality or war or bitter protest. The Quakers, though parts of their story contain plenty of instances of death and exile, chose to rebel with peace. In a nation founded by separation, later torn apart by a bloody civil war, and now facing a political gulf that seems impossible to breach, the stories of the early Quakers are more relevant than ever.

This site is an educational tool to help introduce the early history and expansion of the Quakers, in particular the Quakers who immigrated to Massachusetts Bay Colony during the seventeenth century. While in Massachusetts, the Quakers weathered persecution, exile, and death, before many finally decided to move to Pennsylvania, a new colony founded by Quaker William Penn, to find safety.

This website also hopes to use the Quakers as a case study to examine different definitions and concepts of secession. To find our list of criteria for secession, click here, and as you read the history of the Quakers use this list as a way to compare the Quaker story to you own ideas of secession. To get the most out of the website we recommend that you read through the pages in the order that they were organized. To learn more about this site, click here.

This project is the result of the COPLACDigital, a program developed by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, to read more click here.