[Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Bailey? 1781]. Folio. 3, [1 blank] pp. Folded to 7-1/4" x 11-1/4". Untrimmed, light foxing and minor wear, Very Good. Signed and dated at the bottom of page 3 in type, "on behalf of a meeting of the Representatives of the said People, held in Philadelphia, the 22d day of the 11th month, 1781. By John Drinker, Clerk".
Retaliating for Quakers' refusal to celebrate the victory of American arms at Yorktown, a Philadelphia mob went on the rampage. Quakers suffered "outrages and violences on the property, and on divers of the persons of the inhabitants of Philadelphia, of our religious society, by companies of licentious people parading the streets, destroying the windows and doors of our houses, breaking into and plundering some of them, on the evening of the 24th of last month."
When Pennsylvania received word of Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown, its Executive Council proclaimed a "general illumination" for the night of October 24. "Patriots thus were to place candles in their windows to commemorate the final victory of American Revolutionary arms" [Peter Kafer, 'Charles Brockden Brown and Revolutionary Philadelphia,' 116 PA Magazine of History and Biography 467, 471 (October 1992)]. Quakers, however, could not do so: they believed, as a fundamental religious principle, that, "as they could not fight with the fighters, neither could they triumph with the conquerors." Their refusal fueled the mob. "For as masses of celebrating Revolutionaries roamed the streets, NOT to light a candle on this special night was to risk losing one's house to a mob's pickaxes and iron bars" [Kafer, page 472].
This Address explains Quaker principles; and reminds Pennsylvanians of the Quaker founding of Pennsylvania, "the mildness and liberal temper of its government," and the contributions that Quakers have made to public life. A second edition was published in Providence, probably in 1782.
FIRST EDITION. Evans 17166. Hildeburn 4164. NAIP w005778 . Item #35037