The Benedictines, Sugar and Slavery: Texts, Contexts and Material Culture from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Worlds.
This paper will present an overview and some initial archival and visual culture research findings from Brazil and Portugal from what is ultimately intended to be a multi-volume study of sugar, slavery, and Christianity and in the Portuguese colonial world. The paper will emphasize the network of Benedictine monasteries within the Portuguese empire and especially colonial Brazil that developed from the late sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, though I shall also consider the Benedictine presence in the late medieval Mediterranean world and early modern Angola. The paper will conclude with a brief discussion of the role played by Benedictines in terms of the abolition of slavery in Brazil. In 1871 Benedictines freed all their slaves, seventeen years prior to Brazilian emancipation in 1888.
Quaker Institutionalism and the Success of Antislavery Legislation: The New England Yearly Meeting, 1760-1784
After declaring slavery incompatible with Truth and the Inner Light in the 1760s, Quakers worked tirelessly over the next three decades to eradicate slaveholding within their meetings and in the states where they lived. Yet while Quaker beliefs and Revolutionary rhetoric tend to receive credit for the success of gradual emancipation, Quakers’ institutional nature and past experience in politics played a far more vital role in securing antislavery victories. This paper seeks to examine the importance of Quaker institutions and activism to antislavery success through an examination of the New England Yearly Meeting in Rhode Island from 1760-1784.
Respondent: Aaron Fogleman, Northern Illinois University