Prisoners of Congress: Philadelphia's Quakers in Exile, 1777-1778 (Hardcover)

Prisoners of Congress: Philadelphia's Quakers in Exile, 1777-1778 By Norman E. Donoghue II Cover Image
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In 1777, Congress labeled Quakers who would not take up arms in support of the War of Independence as "the most Dangerous Enemies America knows" and ordered Pennsylvania and Delaware to apprehend them. In response, Keystone State officials sent twenty men--seventeen of whom were Quakers--into exile, banishing them to Virginia, where they were held for a year.

Prisoners of Congress reconstructs this moment in American history through the experiences of four families: the Drinkers, the Fishers, the Pembertons, and the Gilpins. Identifying them as the new nation's first political prisoners, Norman E. Donoghue II relates how the Quakers, once the preeminent power in Pennsylvania and an integral constituency of the colonies and early republic, came to be reviled by patriots who saw refusal to fight the English as borderline sedition.

Surprising, vital, and vividly told, this narrative of political and literal warfare waged by the United States against a pacifist religious group during the Revolutionary War era sheds new light on an essential aspect of American history. It will appeal to anyone interested in learning more about the nation's founding.

About the Author

Norman E. Donoghue II is an independent historian of American Quakerism based in Philadelphia. His website is
Product Details
ISBN: 9780271095073
ISBN-10: 0271095075
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: June 13th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English