Germantown Protest, 1688 (Haverford College, 975.11.005

Written by four members of Germantown Meeting, Gerret Hendericks, Derick Isacks up de Graeff, Francis Daniel Francis Pastorius, and Abraham Isacks up den Graeff, this is the first organized protest against slavery in the United States. Referred to as the “Germantown Protest,” it uses the golden rule to argue against owning another human being.

This petition not only represents resistance against slavery, it also shows the struggles of resisters. The Germantown men sent their petition to a larger group of Quakers, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, who decided not to act on the petition. It would take 88 more years for Quakers to officially denounce slavery. However, many Friends would take on this call and work towards abolition, either with or without the approval of their Meeting.   

Germantown Protest, 1688 (Haverford College, 975.11.005