The Journal of John Woolman

John WOOLMAN (1720 - 1772)

John Woolman was born at Northampton, N. J., in 1720, and died at York, England, in 1772. He was the child of Quaker parents, and from his youth was a zealous member of the Society of Friends. His “Journal,” published in 1774, describes his way of life and the spirit in which he did his work; but his humility prevents him from making clear the importance of the part he played in the movement against slaveholding among the Quakers. In 1742, Woolman, then a young clerk in the employment of a storekeeper in New Jersey, was asked to make out a bill of sale for a negro woman; and the scruples which then occurred to him were the beginning of a life-long activity against the traffic. Shortly afterward he began his laborious foot-journeys, pleading everywhere with his co-religionists, and inspiring others to take up the crusade. The result of the agitation was that the various Yearly Meetings one by one decided that emancipation was a religious duty; and within twenty years after Woolman’s death the practise of slavery had ceased in the Society of Friends. His own words in this “Journal,” of an extraordinary simplicity and charm, are the best expression of his personality. (Summary by The Harvard Classics)

Genre(s): *Non-fiction, History, Philosophy

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Introductory Note Devon Purtz
Play 01 Chapter I Devon Purtz
Play 02 Chapter II Devon Purtz
Play 03 Chapter III Devon Purtz
Play 04 Chapter IV Devon Purtz
Play 05 Chapter V Devon Purtz
Play 06 Chapter VI Devon Purtz
Play 07 Chapter VII PhyllisV
Play 08 Chapter VIII PhyllisV
Play 09 Chapter IX Lucretia B.
Play 10 Chapter X Wayne Cooke
Play 11 Chapter XI Wayne Cooke
Play 12 Chapter XII Wayne Cooke
Play 13 The Death of John Woolman Jack Lohr