Read The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist Online Free - The little-known story of an eighteenth-century Quaker dwarf who fiercely attacked slavery and imagined a new, more humane way of life
The Fearless Benjamin Lay chronicles the transatlantic life and times of a singular and astonishing man--a Quaker dwarf who became one of the first ever to demand the total, unconditional emancipation of all enslaved Africans around the world. He performed public guerrilla theater to shame slave masters, insisting that human bondage violated the fundamental principles of Christianity. He wrote a fiery, controversial book against bondage that Benjamin Franklin published in 1738. He lived in a cave, made his own clothes, refused to consume anything produced by slave labor, championed animal rights, and embraced vegetarianism. He acted on his ideals to create a new, practical, revolutionary way of life.
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November 10, 2017
He spent his later life living in a cave, a vegetarian and animal rights activist who made his own clothing. Yet his estate at his death in 1759 was valued at $117,000 (in today's dollars).
He was an early convert to abolition, causing disturbances that his Quaker meeting house to remove him from...
July 04, 2017
To honor July 4th I am reviewing a biography of a true American original whose life expands our knowledge of the history of American abolitionism, Quakerism and alternative lifestyles. Benjamin Lay was a very independent man who should be celebrated while we celebrate American independence. "Let...
September 10, 2017
Benjamin Lay: A Quaker Dwarf who became the first Revolutionary Abolitionist. He was born in Essex England in 1682 and traveled to Barbados and Philadelphia . He used metaphors of sheep and lambs to admonish Quakers and others to free their slaves.
He often disrupted church meetings to make his po...
August 26, 2017
Marcus Rediker has written an important correction to the history of abolitionism with his biography The Fearless Benjamin Lay. Lay was born in 1682, a commoner who worked as a shepherd, a glove-maker, a sailor, and a merchant and lived in Essex, Barbados, and Pennsylvania. He was a Quaker, perha...
July 23, 2017
William Lay was a most unusual person in history, a self educated man who became an avid reader, only four foot seven inches with a hunchback, a man revolted by the bad treatment of slaves by their owners in Barbardos, a vegetarian and animal rights proponent. I was curious about him because of h...
December 09, 2017
Absolutely fascinating biography of a bold, tender hearted and just man. Inspiration to all social justice activist today. If he could, we can.
September 26, 2017
This was an excellent biography. I profiled its author, Marcus Rediker, in this Pacific Standard feature: https://psmag.com/education/quaker-dw...
August 14, 2017
This was a case of the author including every scrap of information he found on the person. The overview at the beginning turned out to be the most interesting part, in my opinion. I was expecting a book about what Benjamin Lay did in the fight against slavery, but most of that information was ade...
September 12, 2017
"Benjamin's prophecy speaks to our times. He predicted that for Quakers, and for America, slave-keeping would be a long destructive burden."
"Benjamin Lay was, in sum, a class-conscious, gender-conscious, race-conscious, environmentally conscious vegetarian ultra-radical. Most readers of this book...
September 21, 2017
Rediker displays his research chops presenting us with what is known of Benjamin Lay, possibly rescuing an accomplished and unique historical figure from obscurity, though it is a bit dry as a narrative.