By Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, Margaret Hope Bacon
Benjamin Coates was once one of many best-known white supporters of African colonization in nineteenth-century the US. A Quaker businessman from Philadelphia and a someday officer of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, he was once dedicated to assisting black american citizens relocate to West Africa. This positioned him on the middle of a discourse with abolitionists at domestic and in another country, together with such best thinkers as Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Henry Highland Garnet, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, George L. Stearns, and William Coppinger. artistic 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 extraordinary personalities and their tireless efforts at reform.
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Extra info for Back To Africa: Benjamin Coates And The Colonization Movement In America, 1848-1880
Instead, he chronicled his social life and sightseeing. Parties and meals and the architectural tastes of his well-oﬀ hosts dominated his reports, with only his careful attention to the landscaping and gardening reﬂecting his interest in horticulture, and his seed business. Sometimes he reported exchanging seeds with people he encountered in his travels. ) Apparently these trips invigorated him: his letters are ﬁlled with commentary on how exhilirated and healthy he felt, and how he was unsure when he would return to Philadelphia—it would not be soon.
73. Managers Minutes, –, . 74. Minutes, –; Minutes June , ; Benjamin Coates to William Coppinger, June , ; Papers :. 75. Minutes, January , ; June , ; September , ; September , ; June , ; Minutes, Committee of Employment, –. qxd 9/22/2005 11:27 AM Page 30 undermining the market for slave goods and thus reducing the necessity of slave power. 76 Benjamin Coates and African Americans Consistent with his mediator posture, Coates tried to hold a middle-ground position on race, even as he threw himself wholeheartedly into the colonization cause.
This relative isolation may also help explain his passion for letter-writing, for it seems that only his correspondence took him over the Quaker walls that hedged him in. When the schism came, Coates’s mother’s distress was surely visible to Benjamin, who, throughout his entire life, not only resided with or near his family or origin, but also vacationed with or near other Friends. Some measure of the feeling among this family toward the Hicksites is revealed in a letter Rebecca Coates wrote to her daughter Beulah in July , while Benjamin was still living with his mother and frequently adding his addenda to his mother’s letters to other children who were away from home.