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Historical Writings



QHP edition 2002 (iv + 188 pp.), $10.00.

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Editor's Introduction

Notes on Sources

Thomas Lurting's The Fighting Sailor turned Peaceable Christian was transcribed from the text printed in London in 1711, using a photocopy made at Haverford College Library.

Footnotes have been added to Lurting's text to show additional or variant information from two other sources. The first is a shorter account Lurting wrote in 1680 as a postscript to George Fox's letter "To the Great Turk and King at Algiers" (Fox, Works [1831 & reprints], vol. 6, pp. 88-92). The second is William Sewel's History of the ... Quakers (London, 2nd ed. corrected, 1725); Sewel claims (p. 384) that Lurting personally told him some additional details.

Jonathan Dymond's Inquiry into the Accordancy of War with the Principles of Christianity, originally published in London 1823-24, was transcribed from the 1892 Philadelphia edition. Some brief biographical notes about the author can be found on page 32 of this book.

The footnotes translating Dymond's Latin quotations have been supplied by Larry Kuenning.

The London Yearly Meeting Book of Extracts is the forerunner of American printed books of discipline. The passages we have transcribed are from the Second Edition (1802), photocopied at Haverford College Library.

The 1847 letter to the U.S. Congress from Philadelphia Friends was printed in The Friend, vol. XX. We are grateful to Peter Lasersohn for bringing it to our attention by posting the text on the Quaker-G e-mail list.

Finally, although it is included in most editions of George Fox's Journal, we include the 1660 Declaration because of its foundational role as the first public statement against war that speaks for Friends as a body. Our text is that of the first edition of Fox's Journal (1694), provided by Peter Sippel from a copy obtained at the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

The Lurting and Dymond texts can also be found on the Quaker Heritage Press website:
Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization have been modernized in all the printed texts.

There have been many other Quaker writings on war. Two early ones can be found in other Quaker Heritage Press books: Robert Barclay addresses the subject in Proposition 15 of his Apology (1678), pp. 466-476 in the QHP edition. Isaac Penington's paper, "Somewhat Spoken to a Weighty Question Concerning the Magistrate's Protection of the Innocent" (1661) addresses the question: Why should conscientious objectors, who will not fight for their government, have the protection of the law? It can be found Penington's Works, vol. 2, pp. 151-60 of the QHP edition. Nineteenth-century disciplinary rules of American Friends regarding war can be found under that heading in yearly meeting disciplines, in The Old Discipline (QHP, 1999).

Licia Kuenning
Quaker Heritage Press editor


Thomas Lurting, The Fighting Sailor Turned Peaceable Christian

Jonathan Dymond, An Inquiry into The Accordancy of War with the Principles of Christianity

London Yearly Meeting, Passages on "War" from the Book of Extracts from the Minutes and Advices of the Yearly Meeting of Friends (1802)

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Letter to the United States Congress (1847)

George Fox and others, Declaration presented to King Charles II (1660)

>> order
>> online text of Lurting
>> online text of Dymond