Quaker Slavery and Manumissions

FJ senior editor Martin Kelley speaks to Quaker preservationist Avis Wanda McClinton about her work as a community liaison to Haverford College’s “Manumitted: The People Enslaved by Quakers.”

Avis Wanda McClinton, a Quaker preservationist, discusses the Haverford College project to digitize and study the manumission records of Quakers who enslaved people. She expresses deep emotion and outrage over the history of Quaker slaveholding, emphasizing the humanity of the enslaved individuals and the need to reckon with this painful legacy. McClinton highlights the wealth and privilege built on the backs of the enslaved, and calls on Quakers to take responsibility and pursue reparations. She is driven to uncover the fates of the 339 enslaved people named in the records, seeing it as a vital act of dignity and justice. Throughout, McClinton grapples with the complex and often uncomfortable realities of Quaker history regarding slavery.


Apologies for the technical mishap that our recording didn’t include video of both sides of the interview.

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