By Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, Margaret Hope Bacon
Benjamin Coates used to be one of many best-known white supporters of African colonization in nineteenth-century the USA. A Quaker businessman from Philadelphia and a someday officer of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, he was once devoted to assisting black american citizens relocate to West Africa. This positioned him on the heart of a discourse with abolitionists at domestic and out of the country, together with such prime thinkers as Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Henry Highland Garnet, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, George L. Stearns, and William Coppinger. inventive and stressed, cantankerous and charismatic, those women and men ruled the fight to finish slavery and to accomplish recognize for African americans. again to Africa sheds new mild on those awesome personalities and their tireless efforts at reform.
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Extra info for Back To Africa: Benjamin Coates And The Colonization Movement In America, 1848-1880
After becoming a partner in Porter & Coates, Coates provided the with school supplies from the publishing ﬁrm at a large discount, and he became a member of the supply committee, in charge of purchasing all school supplies. He also continued his interest in libraries by serving on the ’s library committee. 73 Another of Coates’s consuming interests was the and its Clarkson Hall school, which the organization ran for local African Americans. Joining the himself in , Coates was elected to the Education Committee, a post he held for several decades.
John Greenleaf Whittier, also a member of the Religious Society of Friends, wrote a pamphlet, Justice and Expediency, in , pointing out that in the sixteen years since the organization of the , only manumitted slaves had been transported to Africa, while the number of slaves in the United States had increased by over half a million. 56 Coates, meanwhile, deepened his commitment to colonization. Like most Friends, both Hicksite and Orthodox, he probably saw Garrison as a 54. A. Doris Banks Henries, The Life of Joseph Jenkins Roberts (–) and His Inaugural Address (London: Macmillan and Company, ).
For a businessman, Coates was remarkably cavalier about the costs and ﬁnancing of his plans. It is hard to believe that he was unaware of the rapid increase in the slave population, which tripled between and . Yet his correspondence does not include any estimate of how much time, money, and organization it would require if any signiﬁcant number of black Americans were to request assistance to relocate. Perhaps he was sanguine that he could enlist the support of other white Quakers to underwrite the project.