A Is For Pennsylvania And Quaker Then Anti-Slavery, With Apologies To Apples Everywhere

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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So remember ' A is for Apple all shiny and red , C is for Cat leaving dead mice under the bed ' ? You know. Children's books and the alphabet.

Our Quaker ancestors having committed to being extremely serious about mankind taking each other seriously as humans, it is unsurprising Pennsylvania and Philadelphia in particular would have become extremely early epicenters of abolitionist activity. William Penn's Pennsylvania contained an awful lot of Quakers.

In 1846 the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society held a fair. Members and Quakers Hannah and Mary Townsend sold a book there, written by them, a kind of primer on both the alphabet and slavery. Called " The Anti-Slavery Alphabet ", it instructs children on the evils of slavery and teaches the alphabet by way of hand colored letters and attendant, starkly phrased facts associated with fellow humans enduring this state. In rhyme. They believed children should be educated about the world around them, especially those fellow humans who would be requiring their assistance.

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Joined
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Messages
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Central Pennsylvania
It's from 1848, quite a few years pre war. It seemed shocking at first, a children's book with so much harsh reality but Quakers tended to not flinch from harsh reality, expecting their children to be clear sighted, too.

The Pennsylvania Anti Slavery Society of which the Female Anti Slavery Society was an off shoot, was quite a large organization. I'm a little nutty on it because it was the last time this state was soft on human issues, and I'm a deeply native Pennsylvanian for around a zillion generations on one side. Well, on the other too, when a long line of Quakers stopped in Philadelphia on the way to South Carolina.

pa aanti slavery society.jpg

Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, built for the purpose of housing the society- later burned.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
19,356
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Wonderful find. I hadn't seen anything like this before. I hope to pass this along to friends.

Crazy good, isn't it? Bumped into a website with this kind of thing, must go dig it up and post it- there are others of the genre. It did occur to me ( and am sure other members have better knowledge here ) early books for children tended to be a lot less kittens 'n rainbows than ours anyway? I mean, weren't Grimm's Fairy Tales well, grim in spots? And songs- OH good Heavens " Cut off their tales with a carving knife "....... :rofl: ' Now go to sleep, Elizabeth and Joshua.'
 
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