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Elizabeth Cazden
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar
Rhode Island Quakers in a Slave-Based Economy, 1660-1780

Despite their belief in universal salvation and high ethical standards, Rhode Island Quakers (Friends), including the applicant’s family, participated in the economy of a colony at the heart of the transatlantic slave trade. Quakers owned slaves, built vessels for the African trade, dominated the legislature that enacted slave codes, and invested in slave voyages. This project will use Quaker records, probate and tax records, and other primary and secondary sources to document and analyze the extent and types of Quaker involvement in the slave-based economy, and to trace the changes in those patterns as Friends came to question the morality of slavery and, by 1773, to ban slave-holding by their members.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007