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Walking in the Way of PeaceQuaker Pacifism in the Seventeenth Century$
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Meredith Baldwin Weddle

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195131383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019513138X.001.0001

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“Times of Motion and Danger”

“Times of Motion and Danger”

Reacting to Fear of War, 1667–1673

(p.113) 6 “Times of Motion and Danger”
Walking in the Way of Peace

Meredith Baldwin Weddle

Oxford University Press

Indian unrest and French and Dutch invasion scares threatened New England in 1667, 1671, and 1673. As colonies reacted to these dangers, there were no differences attributable to pacifism between non‐Quaker governments in Rhode Island, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay and Quaker government in Rhode Island; all governments made haphazard, tentative, localized, and inadequate provisions for defense. None called upon the king for aid; all called councils of war, mounted an occasional great gun, set watches, negotiated with the Indians. An occasional individual Quaker demonstrated scruples against one measure or another. One major exception to the absence of pacifist evidence was the legislation passed by the Rhode Island Quaker government, the Exemption of 1673, the first formal legislative provision for conscientious exemption.

Keywords:   1671, 1673, defense, Exemption of 1673, Massachusetts Bay, pacifism, Plymouth, provisions, Rhode Island, scruples

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