By Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, Margaret Hope Bacon
Benjamin Coates used to be one of many best-known white supporters of African colonization in nineteenth-century the United States. A Quaker businessman from Philadelphia and a someday officer of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, he used to be devoted to assisting black american citizens relocate to West Africa. This positioned him on the middle of a discourse with abolitionists at domestic and out of the country, together with such major thinkers as Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Henry Highland Garnet, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, George L. Stearns, and William Coppinger. inventive and stressed, cantankerous and charismatic, those women and men ruled the fight to finish slavery and to accomplish appreciate for African americans. again to Africa sheds new gentle on those striking personalities and their tireless efforts at reform.
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Additional resources for Back To Africa: Benjamin Coates And The Colonization Movement In America, 1848-1880
His style was casual, his language relaxed and unguarded. Although he sometimes reported having attended Quaker meeting, and his letters were often dated as if it was his habit to use his Sunday afternoons to catch up on correspondence, there is much to suggest that he used these summer vacations to throw oﬀ some of his Quaker restraint. Unlike many of his Quaker peers, he includes minimal discussion of theology, and his use of Friends “plain speech”—“thee” and “thy” and numbers for days of the week—is mixed liberally with the designation for days and months that was common in the larger society.
Rachel Price has gone out of town and she expects to go shortly. ”41 It seems likely that Coates was romantically interested in a young protégé of family friend Sarah Pugh, possibly a teacher at Pugh’s Water Street school, and undoubtedly a Hicksite. Rebecca Coates was interested in this school and visited it in . ”42 Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the Coates family would have condoned a courtship with a Hicksite, and after , all references to romance disappear from the Coates correspondence, and with it a certain note of gaiety in Benjamin’s letters.
Coates was probably one of several members of the Board of Managers of the Institute for Colored Youth (), which purchased a cabinet of minerals from Sarah Douglass after she resigned from teaching in . Minutes, November , . qxd 9/22/2005 11:27 AM Page 21 family home. In these establishments, gambling, dancing, gaming, prostitution, and interracial socializing caught the attention of commentators like George W. ”50 Foster, who wrote of similar activity in New York, must have helped shape Coates’s conviction that African Americans were better oﬀ where they could be immersed in Christianity and inspired by the likes of Liberian entrepreneur Joseph Jenkins Roberts.